Album review
The Truth
Princess Black
Chain Gang Music / Flynn & Flynn

Tracking list

  1. Wheel And Turn
  2. Nah Fight
  3. Married Man
  4. Eternal Flame
  5. Criss Car
  6. Tender Lover
  7. Israelite
  8. The Truth
  9. What A Nana
  10. Shouldn't Do Me Dat
  11. Bible Verse
  12. Guitar Psalm (Instrumental)
  13. Eternal Flame (Instrumental)
  14. Country Girl
Rating : from 5 (excellent) to 1 (poor)

Vocals : 4 Backing : 4 Production : 4/5 Sound quality : 5 Sleeve : 3

At this moment Charmaine Clegg aka Princess Black is probably known to a very small group of reggae followers. Regarding her efforts on the Dr. Paul and Owen Flynn produced album "The Truth", Princess Black has the skills and talent to achieve a breakthrough to a wider audience and thus is definitely a name to watch for. After spinning this well varied album one thing is obvious : this reggae sister is a versatile and mature artist. Not only has she (co-)written almost every tune on this album, she also proves that she can excel as a singer, singjay or deejay (fully showcased in the wicked title track). Furthermore she's equally at home with message songs and lovers tunes. Even the fact that Princess Black delivers her songs over seemingly older riddims - they strongly remind one of the kind of riddims that surfaced in the first half of the nineties - doesn't affect the strength of her performances. The album opener, "Wheel And Turn", a dancehall mento, is an entertaining and danceable tune. Then a wicked dancehall tune, "Nah Fight", incorporating conscious lyrics delivered in a singjay style reminiscent of Lady G. The "Tempo" riddim is revitalized for "Married Man", one of the standout tracks in which Princess Black reveals her intention to speak out on social topics. Princess Black's rendition of The Bangles' hit "Eternal Flame" showcases her fine singing skill. A hip-hop influenced riddim is utilized for "Criss Car", which incorporates raps from Brian Pinnock and A. Matthews. This is definitely one of the least appealing tracks of the album. However, with "Tender Love" Princess Black returns to form. The cultural track "Israelite" is truly outstanding... great riddim and an excellent vocal and lyrical delivery! The political song "What A Nana" is a nice uptempo delivery, which is followed by the solid "Shouldn't Do Me Dat" with Princess Black singing at her best. The lyrics of "Bible Verse" are declaimed over a wonderful rootical riddim, which appears again as a nice instrumental with a spanish guitar in a prominent role. After a superfluous instrumental version of "Eternal Flame" the album rounds off with "Country Girl", a nice effort in which Princess Black - being a country girl herself - bigs up the country people. "The Truth" is an enjoyable album from an artiste who deserves to reach a wide audience!

Teacher & Mr. T.