Caramelo Criminal
Caramelo, Criminal & Silly Walks
Silly Walks-Pias
October 25, 2004

Track list
  1. Que Sera
  2. Religiosa
  3. Booty Booty
  4. Es Mi Amor
  5. Por Que Te Vas?
  6. Pareces
  7. Mi Senor
  8. Mascarada
  9. Otra Copa
  10. No Es Camino Facil
  11. Dime
  12. Cuando
  13. Politicos
  14. Te Agradezco
  15. La Mina
Rating : from 5 (excellent) to 1 (poor)
Vocals : 5 Backing : 5 Production : 5 Sound quality : 5 Sleeve : 4
It's only justice that Caramelo Criminal have finally released their self-titled debut album. Known to the reggae world at least since the track opening this album "Que Sera" appeared on Silly Walks' debut album "Songs Of Melody". Also known for their contributions to "Dancehallfieber 01" where they used their own names for "Gott Steh Mir Bei", but later on "Dancehallfieber 03" and "Dancehallfieber 04" with "Militaer" and "Ganjatherapie" in their Raggabund-disguise, their German language project, as well for Don Caramelo as frontman of Les Babacools, who snatched him away from German hip hop project Blumentopf, to enhance their "Raggafunkin" mix of reggae and ragga through ska, funk, latin and hip hop even into heavy guitarrock territory. Criminal is not only busy as Caramelo Criminal and Raggabund member, but is also active solo as singer-songwriter Paco Mendoza, and is a is member of Germany´s first reggaeton-cumbia soundsystem named ClanDestino. This all Spanish lyrics debut is a superb release, with main production done by one of Germany's most important soundsystems Silly Walks alongside Andreas Brikalin of Uptone, who`s also part of the inner circle of Silly Walks Production`s musicians, and who contributed some excellent riddims and production to Nosliw's "Mittendrin" and the Roots Rockers' "Tanzen & Schrei'n", and Gran Canaria, Spain based German producer Andreas 'Brotherman' Christopherson as engineer - who for his own Minor7Flat5-label already has the big albums "Righteous Men" by Al Pancho, "Different Thing" by Turbulence and "Tell It From The Heart" by Luciano under his belt. Add to that Patrice's backing band Shashamane, and there's not much left to wish, especially as all involved seem to have put in maximum effort. After the aforementioned "Que Sera" opening the album, it's "Religiosa" about a girl who is so sick of men that she promised herself unto the Lord over a nice upbeat Andreas Brikalin / Uptone built riddim fir this Ire Hifi production, that was also used for Pam Hall's "Party Time Tonight" on "Songs Of Melody". "Booty Booty (El Mañoso)" is a great take on Studio One house band the Brentford Rockers' 'Greedy G'-riddim, with Don Caramelo's deep voice riding the funky Uptone produced beat. "Es Mi Amor" is a beautiful latin-reggae track about a girl, who is the perfect love, and is followed by the only cover on the album, of Jose Luis Perales Morillas' (in 1970 by Jeanette sung propelling into the charts) Latin classic "Por Qué Te Vas", the song asking a girl why she is leaving that seems like written for Criminal's voice. "Pareces" is another Studio One inspired Uptone production about a girl looking like an angel, but with an evil character. "Mi Señor" praises the Lord, riding the also for Martin Jondo's fabulous "Wunderlampe" used clearly Bob Marley & Wailers inspired Silly Walks riddim 'Friends', named after the excellent Tanya Stephens tune. "Mascarada" is a convincing anti masquerade consumption-society tune, followed by the acoustic guitar (played by Criminal's alter-ego Paco Mendoza) ballad asking for "Otra Copa" One More Drink to drink away the disappointment that in a world full of desires / noone is willing to grow spiritually. "No Es Camino Fãcil" is riding a slow roots riddim, warning that love is not an easy road, followed by Turbulence's 'Girlfriend'-riddim backing the conscious "Dime" Tell Me what else has got to happen for you to react?. "Cuando" When features Silly Walks' own MC Lobstarr, who recently also became a member of Les Babacools, in an anti-Babylon statement. "Politicos" uses the same Uptone riddim that backed the beautiful "Königin" Max Herre & Nosliw combination on "Mittendrin". "Te Agredezco" is an excellent horn driven thanks & praises tune, before the absolutely brilliant piano (played by Lobstarr) and guitar (again Criminal in his Paco Mendoza disguise) ballad "La Mina" closes this album, that is an absolute must have for every roots lover, and especially for everyone who came to like the several Brotherman, Uptone and Silly Walks productions. Hopefully this is the first of many more Criminal Caramelo and Silly Walks collaborations.