Despite the relatively lower profile that Canadian reggae music and reggae artists have in the country, Exco Levi is someone with a bigger spotlight. The Brampton, ON-based artist has the distinction that comes with winning an impressive five Juno Awards, and his consistent musical output has him on track for at least a few more.
It's the reason, he says, for calling his latest full-length album Narrative; it presents his perspective on life, music and motivation in a fickle industry. Working with German producers Silly Walks Discotheque along with top-shelf names like Penthouse, who produced "Trouble," Raging Fyah, who can be found on single "Redo" and reggae great Sizzla Kalonji on "Burn," the 13-track project exists to prove that Levi isn't resting on his laurels. "Mama didn't raise no fool," he maintains on the acoustic "Part of Me"; on "Wiseman, he stirs up traditional roots vibes.
"Don't Cry" is a bouncy love ditty, while "Money Can't Save You leans on the ever-reliable Drop Leaf Riddim; at first listen, the latter feels like an uninspired decision, but it hangs together well as Levi proves his storytelling skills have yet to wane. Narrative proves that even as a Canadian reggae artist with decidedly fewer industry outlets for exposure, Levi doesn't have to worry; this music is meant to go worldwide. (Independent)