Album review
Midnite Branch I
I Grade Records
January 22 - 2003

Tracking list

  1. Crown Aim
  2. M Street
  3. Powaz Ov Weed
  4. All Are U
  5. People Iz I
  6. The Valyou
  7. Nachral
  8. Plureal
  9. Jah In Dem
  10. Known
  11. Up Together
  12. Doan Daly
  13. Feel
  14. Poze Arf
  15. Inight
Rating : from 5 (excellent) to 1 (poor)

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

Hailing from the Island of St Croix, Midnite is one of the most promising roots reggae bands of the millennium. They are vanguards of conscious reggae who represent the King's and Queen's music to the fullness of Jah. Midnite's profound and innovative lyrics are sincere and deeply rooted to present the other half of the story. Lead singer Vaughn Benjamin's electrifying voice seems an amalgamation of many great voices in reggae - soulful, chanting, edgy, and he's also part of the band Midnite Branch I, a side project of Midnite, which consists of Vaugh and fellow St. Croix players Dion Hopkins on drums and Philip Merchant on bass. Furthermore Laurent "Tippy" Alfred, the I Grade Records producer is active on the last track of the album.
The first tune, "Crown Aim", is a killer boomshot, slow and hypnotically creeping on you! "M Street" is completely different, a jazzy styled piece of music, followed by "Powaz Ov Weed", a more traditional rootical chanting song. "People Iz I" is one of our favorite tracks of this album, a one drop tune with strong vocals. It's really hard to point out standout tracks, but another favorite tune is "The Valyou", a dreamy tune wonderfully delivered by vocalist Vaughn Benjamin whose voice rides the riddims seemingly effortless. The same goes for "Known", a beautiful laid back track. One of the two nyabinghi tunes, "Jah In Dem" has the guest vocals of Dread Ites and Pressure. The other nyabinghi tune is "Doan Daly".
It's obvious that Vaughn Benjamin is a master in producing an old-school sound that is right on the cutting edge of modern roots music, and his finely crafted songs are as thoughtful as expected with a vibe and feel soulful and inspiring throughout.

Teacher & Mr. T.