The Scriptures
John John Records
CD / Digital Release
June 28, 2011

Sizzla Track list
  1. World Cry
  2. The World Is Watching feat. Peter Jackson
  3. In Jamaica
  4. Cleanse My Soul
  5. Let It Be
  6. Jah Is My Shield
  7. Scriptures
  8. What A Whoa
  9. God Bless You Mama
  10. Jump For Joy
  11. I Love You
  12. Happy Birthday
  13. Music In My Soul
Rate this album!
Cast your vote below.

Essential -Votes: 20-
Very Good -Votes: 11-
Good -Votes: 7-
Average -Votes: 4-
Disappointing -Votes: 1-
A Waste Of Time -Votes: 1-

Total votes : 44
Rating : from 5 (excellent) to 1 (poor)
Vocals : 4/5 Backing : 4/5 Production : 5 Sound quality : 5 Sleeve : 4
In 1995 Sizzla, or Sizzla Kalonji as he is also known, entered the reggae arena with his first full length album, the Phillip 'Fatis' Burrell produced "Burning Up", which was released on RAS Records. However it was with the 1997 released albums Praise Ye Jah" (again for Phillip 'Fatis' Burrell) and the Bobby Digital produced "Black Woman & Child", that he broke big and started to become one of the biggest names in the reggae dancehall scene. Since the release of his first successful and much-acclaimed albums, Sizzla has released a huge amount of albums and singles, mostly in a breathtaking tempo. And now, some fifteen years after his breakthrough, he's still one of the most prolific artists on planet reggae, although he doesn't come up with 4 or 5 full length albums within one year anymore.

Early 2010 Greensleeves Records unleashed the decent "Crucial Times" set, which in October 2010 was followed by a compilation of Sizzla songs produced by Kemar 'Flava' McGregor called "Blessing Us". And now there's the Lloyd 'John John' James Jr produced album "The Scriptures" that hits the streets. And even though it seems that the release of a new Sizzla album hardly causes the kind of excitement that arose when an album reached the market in the early years of his musical career, it's always interesting to check out the works of an artist who revolutionized modern roots reggae and served as a blueprint for countless singers and singjays.

Except for the already known hit single "Music In My Soul" on the "Zion Gate" riddim, "The Scriptures" consists of material that hasn't been previously released. Just like "Crucial Times", this new album mostly carries an 'old-skool' vibe, not least because John John digged up some classic riddims such as "Father Jungle Rock", "Jah Fire Will Be Burning aka Bottomless Pit", "Woman Is Like A Shadow", and the aforementioned "Zion Gate", to name four. Apart from a less appealing track like "Jump For Joy" with its annoying Rock sound, there's a lot to enjoy for fans of modern roots reggae and those who cherish Sizzla's albums for Bobby Digital, King Jammy and Xterminator's Phillip 'Fatis' Burrell, while his hard core fans won't find much to their liking here.

Without any doubt one of the most impressive songs on this album is "What A Woa". Sizzla in real good shape (singing), great lyrics, an awesome riddim, and beautiful harmonies from Fiona Robinson, Camar Doyles, Connie Francis and Sherida, make this a real killer. But that's not the only highlight! "Music In My Soul" is another one, and so are "In Jamaica", "Cleanse My Soul", "Jah Is My Shield", and the title track "Scriptures". "The World Is Watching You" is a solid piece, with Canadian hip-hop artist Peter Jackson adding a nice flavor to the tune. At first hear the ska-vibed "Happy Birthday" didn't make a serious impression, but after a few spins and careful listening to its lyrics it turned out to be a worthy effort.

The combined forces of Sizzla and producer John John have yielded a very good album.