Lovers rock reggae that ascends into higher creative altitudes

With Lifted, Jamaica’s Romain Virgo delivers thoughtful songwriting with crystal-clear diction over fresh spins on romantic and roots reggae. Like fellow lovers rock crooners Sanchez and Wayne Wonder, the man can mine champagne-and-roses material (covering Sam Smith’s “Stay with Me”) as easily as ghetto reality tunes (“Work”). He explores acoustic territory with “Lifted” and spirited dubstep on “Badda Man,” a track built with wicked horn flourishes and rugged bass drops. Even on the emotive one-drop tune “Soul Provider,” the music remains grounded in Virgo’s earnest conviction.

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