from 5 (excellent) to 1 (poor)|
|Vocals : 4||Backing : 4/5||Production : 5||Sound quality : 5||Sleeve : 4|
When four youths who called themselves Ward 21 started to create hit riddims like "Bellyas", "Volume" and "Trilogy", and meanwhile also managed to score hits in their own right, it was obvious that it only could be a matter of time before their debut album would hit the streets. And then, early 2001, Greensleeves Records announced that they were about to release the outfit's eagerly awaited debut set. For whatever reason the release was postponed which - according to rumours - caused some anger among the Ward 21 crew. However, just before the end of the year Greensleeves have unleashed the hotly anticipated debut set of Ward 21 entitled "Mentally Disturbed". It's a truly excellent debut album from Jamaica's most exciting, outrageous and prolific outfit and it has definitely been worth the wait as the album fully lives up to expectations. Ward 21 - named after the psychiatric ward of Jamaica's notorious University College Hospital and actually a team of deejays, engineers, musicians and selector which is strongly associated with King Jammy's camp - consists of Ranaldo 'Rumblood' Evans (engineer), Mark 'Mean Dog' Henry (selector), Andre 'Suku' Gray (engineer and riddim builder) and Kunley McCarthy (engineer, lyricist and deejay). The crew also leads the way as producers. Since they started to work at King Jammy's famous Waterhouse studio the line-up of namebrand dancehall artists has noticeably grown, which enabled them to dominate the dancehalls all over the world with their radical riddims and mad vibes.|
On this 22 track set the dancehall massive is treated to a great collection of this mad band's crazy recordings. Included are well known and big hits like "Haters", "Judgement Day", "Ganja Smoke", "Anything A Anything" and "Bloodstain" as well as fresher than fresh cuts like "Da Pum (Brain Damage)", "President of Hoochie Land", "Never Bow", "The Illness", "Thugga", "Eyes Wide Shut" and the much in demand "Pain 21st Century". Although one can capture some revitalized riddims like Steely & Clevie's "Love Punnany Bad" and Jammy's "Shank I Sheck" the main course features contemporary yard core creations. These creations fully display Ward 21's "new millennium" sound, which can be typified as an insane mix of hardcore ragga/dancehall, phat hip-hop flavas and massive beats - actually a reflection of the international flavour that influences youths in Jamaica and worldwide today. In the very competitive and highly prolific Jamaican music industry producers are always seeking for something new. Regarding their efforts on "Mentally Disturbed" it's obvious that the Ward 21 crew has set the pace for a new direction in ragga/dancehall music. No doubt about it.. "Mentally Disturbed" is our "Dancehall Album Of The Year 2001".
Highly recommended for those who can stand an unrelentless assault of the phattest beats and riddims laced with crazy vibes, humour and total insanity!!