Album review
Josie Mel
Walboomers Music
30 - 08 - 2003

Tracking list

  1. Freedom
  2. Play It Little Louder
  3. The Blessing
  4. Cross Roads
  5. Do Mi Thing
  6. Don't Play
  7. Poor People
  8. Please Don't Stop The Dance
  9. Joy
  10. Void
  11. Night Nurse
  12. Got To Be An Angel
  13. Youths Fi Big featuring Capleton
  14. Wrong Line featuring Little Twitch
  15. Talk Talking
  16. Oh Girl
Rating : from 5 (excellent) to 1 (poor)

Vocals : 4 Backing : 4 Production : 4/5 Sound quality : 5 Sleeve : 5

Josie Mel - born Donald Burns Campbell on 18th March 1969 - started singing in church at the age of ten. While attending the Crooked River All Age he sang with the school group and performed at school festivals. Josie was inspired by dancehall singer Puddy Roots of the Killer Phonic Sound and his first raw exposure to the real dancehall was the Creation Sound System. At one of the dances he met producer Country Tony who took him into the Dynamic Sound studio for the first time. He recorded two songs for "Supervalue" and he did recordings for the "Kingswell label". Through the years Josie has recorded for Star Trail, Black Scorpio and Rainbow Castle Productions, to name a few. After already having attracted notable attention with 7" singles and tracks on compilation sets the reggae massive is treated to Josie Mel's first full length album entitled "Freedom". Sixteen tracks mainly culled from recordings he did for Star Trail producer Richard "Bello" Bell and Maurice "Jack Scorpio" Johnson. Other producers on board are veteran singer/producer Jimmy Riley, Kalongi D'Aguilar, Phillip Williams, Paul Pink and Everton "Blender" Williams. Josie Mel is a fine dancehall singer with good potential who shows that he can ride the riddims with great ease. Besides that he's an artist who sticks to conscious dancehall music. Lyrically he deals with cultural themes as well as matters of the heart. Riddimwize very few debut sets of Jamaican artists contain fresh originals only. Mostly they bring a mixture of revitalized riddims and brandnew backdrops, and "Freedom" is no exception. Among the musicians that laid the riddims you'll find respected names such as Firehouse Crew, Mafia & Fluxy, Sly & Robbie, Steely & Clevie, Danny "Axeman" Thompson, Dwight Pinkney, Bongo Herman and Dean Fraser. The tunes featured here range from solid to excellent, no real weak effort to be found. Our choice musical cuts are "The Blessing", "Cross Roads", "Poor People", "Void", "Got To Be Angel", "Talk Talking" and the combination tunes with Capleton "Youths Fi Big" and "Wrong Line" with Little Twitch. A worthwhile debut set from a singer to watch!!

Teacher & Mr. T.