Trevor Hall

Vanguard Records

I have to admit that when I learned that Trevor Hall was just 22 years old, I was pretty well shocked. With no artwork to look at on my promo, I was sure he was an older artist but as it turns out he’s just an old soul. His debut Vanguard release is produced by Marshall Altman (Kate Voegle, Marc Broussard) and it is filled to the brim with some of the most positive, uplifting, and encouraging Reggae and Folk-oriented songs I have heard in quite some time.

While, as a critic, it’s hard to say it out loud but you have to call a spade a spade. Trevor Hall has created a masterpiece. There are no missteps here. If you like either of the aforementioned genres, you will love everything about this album. Every song is a highlight so let me just mention a couple I really, really love. “Unity” is a quietly electric piece of soulful bounce that I could definitely be stranded on a desert island with. The opening exhortation, “Internal Heights,” is another truly wonderful moment. In spirit it reminds me of Yes’ more spiritual work. As a matter of fact, the spiritual nature of the album lyrically reminds me very much of Jon Anderson at his very best. The faster moving “Sing the Song” is another highlight among highlights and is an impeccable love song to Trevor Hall’s chosen craft.

If you like Reggae even a little then you must own this album. It’s un-Reggae enough for those who don’t like to listen to the genre all the time but it’s also enough to keep fans of the genre into it for the duration. Trevor Hall’s self-titled album easily makes my top picks of 2009 thus far and I don’t see it getting bumped off the list anytime soon.

Reviewed by Mark Fisher