Album review
Lion King
Tony Roots
Charm-Jet Star
19 - 06 - 2001

Tracking list

  1. Lion King
  2. Love Light Shine
  3. Chant
  4. Every Tongue Shall Tell
  5. Running Away
  6. On The Mountain
  7. Heathen Rage
  8. Move Up
  9. Afrika Bound
  10. Ease Up
  11. No More War
  12. Chant Again
Rating : from 5 (excellent) to 1 (poor)

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

Although already known to connoisseurs of the UK reggae music scene from such fine 7" singles like "Holy Zion", "Ease Off", "Leave Jah Children", "Intensional Inversion", "What Is Wrong With Mankind", and "Lion Guardian", singer/songwriter Tony Roots reached a wider audience when first Barry Issacs' "Reggae-On-Top" label released his showcase album "Not Far Away", followed only a few months later by the "Roots Hi-Tek" release "Sufferer's Cry". Especially the latter established Tony Roots' name in reggae circles as it was well received by the critics and roots fans alike.
Tony Roots' third album within three years, "Lion King", fully showcases the natural progression this roots artist has made. Produced at Disciples Backyard Studio in London and featuring the Disciples Riddim Section alongside the Crispy Horns section, Tony Roots delivers twelve truly solid tracks ranging from pure rootical reggae music to dancehall reggae. With his appealing vocal and lyrical delivery being underpinned by well laid riddims - including some revitalized classic riddims - Tony Roots manages to keep you involved till the very end. The album opener and also title track is a great original roots tune - reminiscent of the classic anthem "Satta Massa Gana" - which is followed by one of our favourite tracks, the upfull "Love Light Shine". Then two serious deep roots pieces: the wonderful Chant" and the impressive "Every Tongue Shall Tell" (not the Horace Andy tune!!). "Running Away" is a truly solid piece and the same goes for "On The Mountain", which is delivered over a tough steppers riddim. "Heathen Rage" is an outrageous tune, definitely one of the standout efforts on this album. "Move Up" and "Afrika Bound" maintain the high standard set by the previous tracks. Great and another favourite track is "Ease Up", a very entertaining piece with moody horn parts. Before the album rounds off with a fine second version of "Chant" entitled "Chant Again", Tony Roots brings a decent version of Bob Marley's "War".
Co-produced by Russ D. - known from the Disciples - and Tony Roots, this "Lion King" album happens to be a well varied and solid album. Recommended to any fan of modern roots reggae!

Teacher & Mr. T.