Jimmy Riley
Chiney K / VP Records
CD / Digital Release
August 12, 2013

Track list
  1. Best Business
  2. Ruff Seas feat. Tarrus Riley
  3. Prejudice
  4. Contradiction
  5. Natty Check Fi You
  6. Selassie Is The King feat. Sizzla, Half Pint, Fantan Mojah
  7. Home Is Where The Heart Is
  8. You're The One
  9. Swagg
  10. Find A Girl
  11. If You Are Ready
  12. So In Love
  13. Su Su
  14. Que Sera
Rating : from 5 (excellent) to 1 (poor)
Vocals : 5 Backing : 4/5 Production : 5 Sound quality : 5 Sleeve : 5
In our beloved King's Musik, many Foundation artists have passed onto Zion. Talking about Alton Ellis, Delroy Wilson, Sugar Minott, Slim Smith and many more. Fortunately, many legends still prevail! Let's talk about Jimmy Riley; the father of current sensation Tarrus Riley. Well, Jimmy is a principal player in the evolution of Jamaican music, whose brilliant career spans five decades. His latest offering, "Contradiction", is a thoroughly pleasing set that exudes class and experience.

Jimmy "Martin" Riley was born in Kingston, Jamaica and got musical inspiration at an early age. He went to school with the late, great Slim Smith, who achieved initial success with The Techniques in the early 1960's. Jimmy got his first musical licks helping on harmonies for the group. By the mid 1960's, Jimmy formed The Sensations with Cornell Campbell, Buster Riley and Dego Davis. As a result, such classics as "Those Guys" and "Everyday Is Just A Holiday" manifested. By 1967, Jimmy moved to The Uniques with Slim Smith and Winston Riley - remember "My Conversation"? He pursued a solo career with producer Bunny Lee before recording and producing independently. The 1970's saw this legend with such classics as "Niya Binghi" and "Clean Up The Streets". He put out a slew of monster albums before linking with Sly & Robbie in the early 1980's. This link led to his 1983 chart buster "Sexual Healing" (great rendition of the Marvin Gaye classic). Notable albums followed, including "Rydim Driven" (1981), "Love Fa Real" (1995) and the killer "Sly & Robbie Presents Jimmy Riley: Pull Up Selector" (2009). The popularity of Tarrus has kept interest in Jimmy's undeniable works; haffe mention that Jimmy Riley is one of the most versatile and durable Foundation artists still active!

"Contradiction" boasts a pool of talented players of instruments and engineers. Talking about Kirk Bennett, Jazzique, Owen Rennalls and Lamont Savory providing wicked riddim backbone. There's great mixing from the legendary Colin "Bulby" York, Shenko, Peter Harrison and Andrew Thomas. This set blasts off with Best Business; a smooth track reminding us about the many facets of Love. Jimmy's voice is rich and powerful and just soars over the drum and guitar rich riddim. He teams up with his son, Tarrus, on Ruff Seas. This is a powerful testament of the trials and tribulations of Life with a sprinkling of Gospel and a heaping of Wisdom. The combination of Father and Son is ites, indeed. Prejudice is a poignant reality check fe real! Over a textured riddim, Jimmy soars mightily about a serious issue - big tune! The title track continues on social issues inna fine fashion. Jimmy has faced what he sings and comes across heartically and rootically to the core - clever riddimwise. The standout selection is Natty Check Fi You. A Lover's tune that only Jimmy can rock. Over an organic structure, he just tears it up with catchy lyrics and catches your attention immediately. This is the best song that Jimmy has put out in a while - instant rewind!!!!! Special guests Half Pint, Sizzla and Fantan Mojah show up hard on Selassie Is The King. A great production that allows each star to shine without blocking out each other's light! Big ups to Kirk and Aundre Bennett for a heavy riddim.

Jimmy is well versatile and has always been comfortable in a Roots or Lovers vein. Home Is Where The Heart Is is a sincere track that is a serious and true ode to The Most High despite any circumstance - boomshot all the way strong. Swagg is a Dancehall tight number that will have you doing the "cool and deadly" in no time. Smooth as silk; he evokes so much emotion into every note - it's amazing and REAL. Find A Girl shows Jimmy riding a modern riddim to success. He has always been a great songwriter and arranger and this is so true on If You Are Ready. A powerful Love song about pure love and devotion. He continues inna Lovers vein with the competent So In Love. Great guitar from Courteland White and bassie Owen Renalls is just part of it. Jimmy uses this platform to sing his Heart out. Su Su is a rocking track that brings back memories of early days with Sly & Robbie. Reality check about bad minded people. The final track, Que Sera is pure class and experience. Over a Niyabinghi driven riddim, he will stir your soul and rock your boat.

"Contradiction" is an excellent chapter in Jimmy Riley's career and a necessary addition to your collection if you appreciate Real Reggae Musik. This man has endured the many trends and left his mark in Ska, Rocksteady and Reggae eras. One of his best efforts in recent memory and a testament of "never fade away. Highly recommended; so get to the record shop and you'll be doing the jaw drop. Go deh!!!!!!!!!!!