Reggae Salute
Charm-Jet Star
4CD Box Set
July 21, 2009

Track list
Disc One: Praise Ye Jah
  1. Praise Ye Jah
  2. Dem A Wonder
  3. Homeless
  4. Blackness
  5. Inna Dem Face
  6. Give Thanks
  7. Haile Selassie
  8. No Other Like Jah
  9. How Dem Flex
  10. Cowboy
  11. Greedy Joe
Disc Two: Kalonji
  1. Lovely Morning
  2. Til It Some More
  3. Rain Showers
  4. Ancient Memories
  5. Mother Nature
  6. Saturated
  7. Real
  8. Long Journey Bad Storm
  9. Freedom Cry
  10. Define Yourself
  11. Dem A Try A Ting
  12. Confuse City
  13. Made Of...
Disc Three: Black History
  1. Bandulu
  2. Instance
  3. King Leader
  4. Black History
  5. No Pain
  6. Rastafari Children
  7. Problem Inna The System
  8. Bun Dem Up
  9. Run Dem To Wrong
  10. Things Will Be Better
  11. Upfulness
  12. Galong
  13. Don't Be Disappointed
  14. Happy To Love
Disc Four: Good Ways
  1. Bless Me
  2. Good Ways
  3. Azanaldo
  4. Trust & Love
  5. Bless The Youth
  6. Any Time
  7. Gun Handling Pro's
  8. Mockries & Praise
  9. Protect Us & Bless Us
  10. Can't Cool Canít Quench
  11. Suffer If They Don't Hear
  12. Half Has Never Been Told
  13. Big & Bold
  14. Joyful
Rating : from 5 (excellent) to 1 (poor)
Vocals : 4/5 Backing : 4/5 Production : 4/5 Sound quality : 5 Sleeve : 3
Miguel Collins aka Sizzla naturally needs no introduction to any self-respecting Reggae fan, and if there's anyone out there who does he probably has stayed in outer space in the past fifteen years. We haven't seen that much released by London-based Jet Star in recent times, so we were really surprised to witness the release of a four cd box set containing four original Sizzla albums namely the Xterminator classic "Praise Ye Jah" (1997), "Kalonji" (1998) and the self-produced "Black History" (2001), and the Bobby Digital produced "Good Ways" (1999).

The Phillip "Fatis" Burrell produced "Praise Ye Jah" is a strong collection of heartfelt, moving reality songs, backed in fine style by Sly Dunbar, Melbourne Miller, Donald Dennis and Winston Bowen. All tracks on this set are underpinned by superb new riddims, except the last track, "Greedy Joe", which versions the Channel One hit "I Know Myself" by Ernest Wilson. Praising The Almighty in "Haile Selassie", "No Other Like Jah", and "Praise Ye Jah"; fighting lyrically against oppression in "Inna Dem Face", "Dem A Wonder", "Babylon Cowboy" and "Greedy Joe", Sizzla showcases his unique blend of roots reggae in its finest forms.

"Kalonji" features singles like the marvelous "Til It Some More", the wicked "Saturated", "Dem A Try A Ting" - another version across Luciano's "Ulterior Motive"/John Holt's "Stealing, Stealing" riddim - the superb "Freedom Cry", "Define Yourself" and "Real", but also material that hasn't appeared on 45s like "Made Of..." - utilizing a recut of the Sensations' "Every Day Is Just A Holiday" - the excellent "Lovely Morning", the uptempo Rasta chant "Ancient Memories" and the fine "Confuse City". The distinctive contemporary roots and culture production of the Xterminator Crew combined with Sizzla's strong uplifting lyrics and exceptional vocal style makes this a solid album.

The "Black History" set contains fourteen self-produced tracks with only one cut, "No Pain", previously released on the artist's one-off "Kalonji" label. This lively collection of tunes switches from melodic modern roots reggae to the raw driving beats of hardcore ragga - and captures Sizzla performing in his well known style, which ranges from furious half-spoken efforts to more lyrical message tunes. Tunes such as the excellent "Bandulu", the wicked "Black History", the impressive, nyabinghi flavored "No Pain", the awesome "Upfullness", and also solid efforts like "Things Will Be Better" and "Don't Be Disappointed" find Sizzla in vintage form. Not all pieces featured on this album are real killers, but with every track having its own merit it's still a worthwhile set.

From beginning to end the militant singjay fully showcases his unique and spectacular style on this Bobby Digital produced "Good Ways" album. Revitalized riddims like Winston Riley's "Stalag", Derrick Harriott's "Solomon" and the classic Studio One riddims "Breaking Up" and "Movie Star" intermingle with original riddims, all providing a good vehicle for this deeply spiritual talent. Lyrically Sizzla is outstanding as can be witnessed on every single cut. Whether it's about subjects like social inequality, political corruption or destruction of the environment Sizzla uncompromisingly attacks them all. Highlights include the title track "Good Ways", "Protect Us & Bless Us", "Can't Cool Can't Quench" and the awesome "Mockries & Phrase". Any Time, coming across a hardcore riddim from Jazzwad, features Sizzla at his most intense.

This 4 cd box set is a well worth purchase if you don't have these albums already.