Bunji Garlin
VP Records - Groove Attack
May 18, 2007

Track list
  1. No Super Hero
  2. Pan And Soca
  3. Brrrt
  4. Get Up Stand Up feat. T.O.K.
  5. Fire Fi Dem
  6. Hardcore Loving feat. Rita Jones
  7. We Maniac
  8. Globally
  9. Raise Yuh Hand
  10. Blaze It Up
  11. Swing It feat. Chris Black
  12. One Family feat. Freddie McGregor
  13. Put In The Thing
  14. Turn Me On
  15. Hands Up
Rating : from 5 (excellent) to 1 (poor)
Vocals : 4/5 Backing : 4/5 Production : 5 Sound quality : 5 Sleeve : 3/4
Over the last couple of years soca has gained mainstram attention, especially the pop-infused style of soca (popularly known as popso) as popularised by St. Vincent's Kevin Lyttle and Barbados' Edwin Yearwood (the former Krosfyah singer) and Rupee. But one of the most respected stars in the soca scene and also in the Jamaican dancehalls is hardcore ragga-soca star Bunji Garlin from Trinidad and Tobago, hailed both as 'Bunji Garlin, the girls dem darlin' and the 'Fireman', who is capable to bridge the gap between Jamaica - with his delivery that is equal parts of Bounty Killer and Elephant Man and an entertainment value rivalling Beenie Man - and T'n'T and whose great "Global" album for VP Records was my favourite soca release of 2007.

The album opens with the great (pure) soca madness of the extremely entertaining "No Super Hero" which is immediately followed by the big party tune "Pan And Soca" over a fast paced heavy bass driven soca riddim with a very nice pan drum, before switching to ragga-soca over tested and tried dancehall riddims like Massive B's 110 BPM dancehall scorcher laid by Ryan Grant, 'March Out' with its rave bassline over which Bunji's "Brrrt" was the best tune amidst the very strong tunes and it is my favourite tune on this album, the (already almost five years old) infectious more soca tinged "Get Up Stand Up" featuring T.O.K. and the very impressive "Fire Fi Dem" across Albert 'Jigsy' Hamilton & Roderick 'Penny Bling' Hamilton's ultra-infectious 'Wipe Out'-riddim.

"Hardcore Loving" is a massive combination with NYC based T'n'T singer 'Sexy' Rita Jones before Bunji delivers the excellent pure soca of "We Maniac" and two more great ragga-soca tunes over Jamaica hardcore dancehall riddims, the title track "Globally" over Dane 'Fire Links' Johnson's 'Global'-riddim and the catcy "Raise Yuh Hand" over Renaissance' 'Stepz'-riddim with its choppy synths and sub-sonic bass. Bunji fully lives up to his 'Fireman' title in (2005's) magnificent "Blaze It Up" over Shawn 'Mastamind' Noel's synth-dominated 'Pot Of Gold'-riddim before making a strange (but well working) excursion into hip hop territory alongside Chris Black for "Swing It" and teaming up with Studio One veteran Freddie McGregor for the brilliant by his son Stephen 'Di Genius' McGregor produced popso-tune "One Family".

2004's "Put In The Thing" over 'Mario C' Campbell and Tony Matterhorn's 'Scoobay' (bass drum, bass drum, bass drum, synth stab, synth stab) riddim was one of the best tunes over that riddim and is followed by the album's only really weak tune, the mediocre "Turn Me On". This great album by soca superstar Bunji Garlin - who was involved in a rather public feud with roots reggae sensation I-Wayne who very nonchalantly once referred to Garlin's beloved soca as 'the devil's music' after which Bunji comprised the I-Wayne targeted "Yuh Mad Or What" which appeared on his previous album, "Next Direction" in 2005, a tune which even the staunchest I-Wayne supporter has to admit, was brilliant - is closed with 2002's great "Hands Up" (that already appeared on VP's "Soca Gold 2002"!) and is an album that every dancehall enthusiast, even if not 'into soca' should at least give a spin despite the inclusion of several older tunes as chances are big you'll end up buying it.