Real Rebels Can't Die
Nereus Joseph
Sirius Records
May 31, 2009

Nereus Joseph - Real Rebels Cant Die Track list
  1. Real Rebels Can't Die
  2. Fundimental Principles Of Life
  3. Make A Stand
  4. No Peace feat. Dennis Alcapone
  5. Send Them A Message
  6. Kultural Herb
  7. Africa For The Africans
  8. Rastafari Lives feat. Jah Mirikle
  9. One Love Tonight
  10. Grounded
  11. Shield & Armour feat. Benjamin Zephaniah
  12. Meet You In Zion
  13. Inner City Youths
  14. Warn Them feat. Selah Collins & Afrikan Simba
  15. Ancient Monarchy
  16. Make A Plan
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Essential -Votes: 12-
Very Good -Votes: 5-
Good -Votes: 5-
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Total votes : 23
Rating : from 5 (excellent) to 1 (poor)
Vocals : 5 Backing : 4/5 Production : 5 Sound quality : 5 Sleeve : 4
If someone would ask us to compile a top 5 of our favourite UK reggae vocalists, that list would definitely include the names of Bitty McLean, Lloyd Brown, Vivian Jones, Peter Spence and... Nereus Joseph. The latter is a consistent singer, who first emerged on the UK reggae scene in 1979 with the single "Roots & Culture" as lead singer with the Coptic Roots Band. After a few years of touring with the band he embarked on a solo career and signed to Clapham based label Fashion Records.

Throughout his musical career Nereus Joseph has never been that prolific, because his device was to deliver quality instead of quantity. It paid as singles like "Guidance", No One Night Stand", "Rock With Me Baby", "Special Lady", "Rocksteady Time", "Sensi Crisis", "Shouldn't Touch It", "Wonderful Feeling", "Giving All My Time", and "Keep Up The Vibes" became hits. In 1987 Fashion Records released his debut album "Love's Gotta Take It's Time" and since then he has released only four full length albums namely "Yours To Keep", "Guidance", "Rejoice", and "Hope, Faith & Love", all of them being real good.

His eagerly awaited sixth album "Real Rebels Can't Die" is another solid collection of tunes, and as usual Nereus Joseph's vocal technique can't be faulted. This roots & culture oriented album has been produced in house at the Sirius Studio by himself and Kenny Edgehill, and features musical contributions from experienced players of instruments like Mafia & Fluxy, Valerie Skeete, and Ruff Cutt band members Carlton "Bubblers" Ogilvie, Tony Phillips and Kenton "Fish" Brown.

The album opens in real fine style with the solid title track "Real Rebels Can't Die", which happens to be a wonderful tune with a nice sax on top of a groovy one drop riddim. Next drops the huge single "Fundimental Principles Of Life", which comes across a slow burning roots one drop, laid by UK's renown Heywood brothers aka Mafia & Fluxy and mixed by Ruff Cutt member Carlton "Bubblers" Ogilvie. It's followed by a superior slice of modern roots entitled "Make A Stand", a big tune and one of the undisputed highlights of this album. The "Liberation" riddim underpins the combination song "No Peace" with veteran Dennis Alcapone showing that he's still able to deliver a notable deejay part. It rounds off the first part of this album and a truly strong part it is!

The acoustic "Send Them A Message" is a moving tune that benefits from Nereus Joseph's warm heartfelt vocal and fine lyrical deliver. "Kultural Herb" is a solid effort that utilizes a revitalized version of Jackie Mittoo's "In Cold Blood" riddim, whilst the sparkling "Africa For Africans" comes across a relick of The Chantels' "Children Of Jah" riddim. Another highlight is, "Rastafari Lives", the combination tune with a young artist who hails from the island of St. Lucia who calls himself Jah Mirikle. The decent "One Love Tonite" preceeds the excellent "Grounded", one of the best tunes on this album delivered over a fresh cut of Dennis Walks' "Drifter" riddim. Dub poet Benjamin Zephaniah guests on the killer "Shield & Armour", a wicked piece worth of hearing over and over again. Not only are the great vibes maintained in the wonderful "Meet You In Zion", but it's also a perfect stepping stone to the final part of the album.

It starts off with the awesome "Inner City Youths" on a refurnished version of Michael Prophet's "Mash Down Rome" riddim, followed by the matching "Warn Them" with real fine guest appearences of label mates Selah Collins and Afrikan Simba. The beautiful "Ancient Monarchy" provokes a true goosebumps moment, and if that's not enough, the album rounds off in great style with the excellent "Make A Plan".

Any fan of good modern roots reggae who is in for a treat should purchase Nereus Joseph's "Real Rebels Can't Die". Ignore at your peril!