It was a four year wait since the last album and One Love, One Life is worth the wait, it’s another five star set, this time with two CDs: disc one showcasing Beres in a mellow mood (hit picks include “In My Arms” & “No Candle Light”) with a second CD displaying a more conscious vibe (“You Stand Alone”, “Still Searching”). Realised with a legion of top musicians, and all tracks produced with highest quality control by Beres Hammond, except “No Candle Light” co-produced with Donovan Germain, “In My Arms” co-produced with Colin ‘Bulby’ York, “Keep Me Warm” and “More Time” co-produced with Michael Fletcher. The title cut on “One Love, One Life” adapts a reworking of Studio One’s immortal mid-60s “Love Me Forever” riddim to a synopsis of Beres’ career: “The journey’s been rough sometimes choices are not there then comes the day when I’m down to I don’t care/the heavens declare and all my fears just disappear and I am singing again”.

Each of the album’s 20 tracks is quintessentially Beres Hammomd: his vocals, as rich and flavorfully bittersweet as dark chocolate, embody the spiritual fervor heard in the secular ballads of Sam Cooke, the laid back cool/political consciousness of 1970s Marvin Gaye and the gritty “Pain In My Heart” passion of Otis Redding. The aforementioned soul icons profoundly influenced the development of Beres’ style, as did Jamaican greats including Leroy Sibbles, lead singer of the Heptones, velvety crooner Ken Boothe and the legendary vocalist Alton Ellis, one of the pioneers of rock steady, reggae’s direct forerunner. ~