Montego Bay
Queen Ifrica
VP Records
June 15, 2009

Queen Ifrica - Montego Bay Track list
  1. T.T.P.N.C.
  2. Welcome To Montego Bay
  3. Coconut Shell
  4. Lioness On The Rise
  5. Yad To The East
  6. Far Away
  7. Don't Sign
  8. Daddy
  9. Keep It To Yourself
  10. Calling Africa
  11. In My Dreams
  12. Streets Are Bloody
  13. Daddy (Spanish Version)
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Cast your vote below.

Essential -Votes: 39-
Very Good -Votes: 16-
Good -Votes: 10-
Average -Votes: 1-
Disappointing -Votes: 1-
A Waste Of Time -Votes: 0-

Total votes : 67
Rating : from 5 (excellent) to 1 (poor)
Vocals : 5 Backing : 5 Production : 5 Sound quality : 5 Sleeve : 4
Since the release of her well received and packed debut album "Fyah Muma" in 2007, fiery Jamaican chantress Queen Ifrica -- her name being a tribute to the motherland Africa -- has steadily worked her way up to being one of today's premier female cultural reggae artists.

Queen Ifrica, real name Ventrice Morgan, was born into Reggae as she is the daughter of Ska and Rocksteady legend Derrick Morgan. She began singing as a child, but her talent wasn't discovered until 1995 when she turned on a scorcher of a performance in a talent contest at the aptly named Club Inferno in Montego Bay. Shen joined the Flames Production camp in 1998 when, at a show in honour of the late Garnett Silk, Tony Rebel hearing the clean vocals and the unmistakable quality of her performance, asked her to join the Flames camp. Under the watchful guidance of reggae veteran Tony Rebel, Queen Ifrica's major breakthrough came with the smash "Below The Waist" in 2007. Developing a wider audience with the socially conscious follow up hit "Daddy", the time is right to unveil a meanwhile highly anticipated new album.

"Montego Bay" is the title of Queen Ifrica's sophomore album, actually her debut for VP Records. Like most artist albums released by VP Records, this set gathers recordings done for a variety of producers. Sometimes this approach doesn't work that well as it can affect the consistency of an album (think Gyptian's "My Name Is Gyptian"). Luckily it's not the case with this album, which features production works of Donovan Germain, Christopher Hurst, Donovan "Don Corleon" Bennett, Kemar McGregor, Adrian & Steve Locke, Rickman Warren, and of course Tony Rebel.

"Montego Bay" reflects the natural growth of a truly outstanding songstress and songwriter. Opening with the amazing nyahbingi chant T.T.P.N.C. -- a tribute to the Pitfour Nyahbinghi Center -- and ending with Queen Ifrica's controversial big hit "Daddy" sung in Spanish, the listener is treated to a worthwhile collection of tunes that includes spiritually empowering anthems, lovers rock and searing social commentaries. All efforts are of good to excellent quality and fully display Queen Ifrica's vocal and lyrical skills. There's the aforementioned T.T.P.N.C., the herbalist anthem, "Coconut Shell", which comes across a wicked modern relick of The Abyssinians' much versioned "Satta Massagana" riddim, the wonderful "Lioness On The Rise" on Penthouse's recent "Automatic" riddim, the rough & tough sounding cultural tune "Yad To The East" on Truckback's exceptional "Springblade" riddim, and the rapturously sung single "Far Away" on the "Movements" riddim.

Furthermore Queen Ifrica shines on "Don't Sign" which revisits Penthouse's "Movie Star" riddim (in the early '90s successfully used for Buju Banton & Wayne Wonder's scorcher "Bonafide Love"), the Kemar McGregor produced worldwide chart-topping "Daddy" in which she tells the poignant tale of child molestation, the solid "Keep It To Yourself" on the Donovan "Don Corleon" Bennett produced "Secrets" riddim, the remarkable "Calling Africa", the great lovers piece "In My Dreams", the acoustic reality tune "Streets Are Bloody", and the awesome "Welcome To Montego Bay". The latter is delivered across a joyous dancehall flavoured riddim, but don't let this lead you astray because it's all about the discrepancy between Montage Bay's pristine five star resorts verses the grim realities of a city wracked by poverty, violence and unemployment.

Overall opinion is that "Montego Bay" is a fantastic set, with nowhere a decline in quality. The only complaint might be the fact that it contains only 12 tracks (not counting the Spanish version of "Daddy"). However bear in mind that you don't need to fill up a CD for it to be a great work!