Dread Hot in Africa
Leroy Smart
February 17, 2006

Track list
  1. Mr. Smart
  2. Love In My Heart
  3. No Love
  4. Beautiful Rainbow
  5. Give Jah Praise
  6. Africa
  7. I Need You Girl
  8. Man Is So Great
  9. African Woman
  10. We Want To Go Home
  11. Jah Jah Forgive Them
  12. Babylon Wicked
  13. Walk Away From Trouble
  14. Love Everyone
  15. Just Tell Me
  16. Let Your Heart Be Pure
Rating : from 5 (excellent) to 1 (poor)
Vocals : 4 Backing : 5 Production : 5 Sound quality : 5 Sleeve : 2
After the astonishing Leroy Brown album, the commendable Makasound return with this fine Leroy Smart meets Tubby's, Jammy's and Jo Jo Hookim classic. Once again, the Makasound label has produced a strong release, and it is still surprising that until now, they have not received more publicity and a higher profile in the reggae press. Their catalogue is arguably as strong as Pressure Sounds and Blood & Fire, and the sleeves are usually well prepared with good vintage photographs of the artists, as well as including interesting interviews and anecdotes from the artists themselves.

This album has seen release before on a Burning Sounds imprint, and whilst the original surely had better sleeve art, this re-issue more than makes up for that small failing by adding an extra four scorching Rockers cuts to the original.

This is blistering, strictly disciplined, taut and soulful Rockers from start to finish -- for the version heads amongst you, "No Love" reworks Horace Andy's "Zion Gate", "Beautiful Rainbow" is a Gnostic vocal to a Pablo/Rockers composition (See Pablo on Pressure Sounds for the numerous dubs), whilst "Africa" is an inspired interpretation of one of the Yabby You tunes on the "Chant Down Babylon" album, and is every but as good as the original. No tired, dull, token reruns here from Leroy, be assured of that.

Those of you into UK dub will immediately recognize the vocal hook on "We Want To Go Home" -- Russ Disciples borrowed an inspired loop of it for one of his early compositions on "Resonations" or "For Those Who Understand."

The only reservation here is the sleeve art and inclusion of an arguably pointless version of the much overdone "Declaration of Rights" -- but considering how enjoyable the rest of the album is, this is a minor downside.

Another solid hit from Makasound.