Be Strong
Lukie D
Penitentiary Records-Munich
November 23, 2005

Track list
  1. One Of A Kind feat. Tony Curtis
  2. Stress Free
  3. False Promise
  4. Dog World
  5. Everlasting Love
  6. Stand By You Forever
  7. Be Strong
  8. Hustling feat. Anthony B
  9. Praise Him (Interlude)
  10. Broken Heart
  11. Never Like This Before
  12. Stop The Rain
  13. Increase The Peace
  14. No More For Me
  15. A Little Love
Rating : from 5 (excellent) to 1 (poor)
Vocals : 4 Backing : 3 Production : 4 Sound quality : 5 Sleeve : 3
"Be Strong" sees Lukie D step away from the dancehall and digital sound that more often than not underpins his work, with a release composed entirely of R&B, lovers rock, and soul-influenced tracks. A rich-voiced Jamaican singer, who has been compared in style to Sanchez, Lukie D has been around for some time. He came onto the reggae-dancehall scene in the early/mid 1990's and has enjoyed success with numerous singles, as well as 1996's album "Centre Of Attraction", on VP Records.

From the off "Be Strong" is an appealing, easy to listen to album. Perhaps the most striking thing about it is that all of the tracks are of a consistent quality, none stand out as being particularly weak or strong. A few of the tracks will sound familiar as the collection includes a number of re-fixes of classic riddims as well as the more contemporary riddim used for Sizzla's hit "Solid As A Rock", featured on the well-sung track "Dog World". Other noteworthy tracks are the collaboration with Anthony B, "Hustling", which benefits from having a counterpoint to Lukie's smooth vocals and adds a bit of much needed variety to the album, and the title track "Be Strong" with its repetitive, catchy chorus.

"Be Strong" is an unspectacular but enjoyable release from an artist of unfulfilled potential. The biggest criticism of the album is that many of the tracks are too similar, with virtually no variation from the mellow, lovers' rock approach - yet, in a way, this is also the album's strength as well. Lukie's voice is well suited to this material and the overall effect creates a fairly strong set, but you cannot help but be left with the feeling that the best is yet to come. If his future releases can build on the solidity of this album then there should be good things in store from Lukie D.