Mortimer Shines with Soulful Reggae Sound on ‘Fight the Fight’ (ALBUM REVIEW)

Mortimer is a reggae artist who gained some recognition when he appeared on the last two Protoje albums. It attracted enough recognition that he was able to work with Grammy-nominated producer Winta James. When Fight the Fight was released digitally, it debuted at #3 on the Billboard reggae chart and at #1 on the iTunes reggae chart. In case you missed the digital release, he is now releasing it on CD and vinyl.

Mortimer draws you in right away with the opening track “Careful”. It begins with some bright horns (trombone, trumpet, tenor sax) and a bass line that is hypnotic. Then the reverb-drenched vocals come in, giving the song a psychedelic dub feel. Hidden behind the horns and the rhythm is a guitar part that sounds like something out of the Eddie Hazel songbook. The lyrics grab your attention too, particularly when he gives the warning, “Be careful of the ones they call your friends…they will let you down.”

“Lightning” is a complete change of pace from the first song. It combines a reggae melody with vocals that are pure soul. In the background is some steel guitar that gives the song an island feel. This sunny, easygoing song is perfect to chase away those winter blahs – especially if you have a Mai Tai in your hand when you listen to it.

“Fight the Fight” is a song that was inspired by Bob Marley, and it’s easy to tell. The keyboard and the guitar tone are similar to what you hear in your favorite Marley song. The same can be said for the soulful backing vocals. Even the lyrics sound like something you might find written in the liner notes of a Marley album. They are generally encouraging, and include lines like, “Light inspires change. I won’t fall victim.”

The EP ends with the “No Lies”. The tempo is utterly mellow and the instrumentation is spare, which brings the focus to the smooth vocals. If you have a playlist of slow jams, this is a good candidate to add to it.

This EP does its job. It gives you a taste of Mortimer’s soulful brand of reggae, and – spanning only 25 minutes – it leaves you wanting more.

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