Shocking Out
Ini Kamoze
February 27, 2011

Track list
  1. Cool It Off
  2. Shocking Out
  3. Clown Talking
  4. Revolution
  5. Come Now
  6. Girl 'E'
  7. Boss
  8. Hole In The Pumpkin
  9. We Run The Country
  10. Colour Me Reggae (Spread Out)
Rating : from 5 (excellent) to 1 (poor)
Vocals : 5 Backing : 4 Production : 5 Sound quality : 4 Sleeve : 5
Ini Kamoze, born Cecil Campbell in 1957, released his first single, "World Affairs" in 1981, and his debut album in 1984. His first albums had classic tunes, with the combination with Sly & Robbie producing "crucial" tunes such as "Dem Thing Deh", "(Reggae) General", "World-A-Reggae", or "Living In A Dream". Also the album "Pirate" had good songs. From there on I became more or less a fan of Ini Kamoze. He has a, to me, likeable voice, interesting lyrics, great music, plus: he has the ability to make super-catchy songs.

This 1988 album by Ini Kamoze, is an interesting example of early dancehall, and keeps showing Ini Kamoze in fine form. I was not disappointed. The more rootsy, "rockers"sound (musically) of his earlier work has been replaced on "Shocking Out" by a sound more towards dancehall, though not fully. There is the early, only slightly digital dancehall sound, such as on the title track, which nevertheless at present does not feel outdated. Maybe it's Ini Kamoze's talent for crafting catchy tunes that keeps it interesting, even when the music is somewhat simple. More towards a rootsy musical sound goes a song like "Clown Talking", but on most song there is some early dancehall vibe, somewhat reminiscent of Half Pint in the same period. This dancehall vibe, is of a kind I like, not too fast and with mostly "funky" grooves. Combined with catchy, well-sung (or toasted) songs, it makes that most songs on this album are enjoyable, nice, and some even good.

There is also a mellow, fun vibe on the album, despite the fact that the lyrics are - for a part at least - thematically serious, and quite "deep" or poetic. I understood that the song "Hole In The Pumpkin" was even censored in Jamaica apparently because it criticized the Jamaican government at the time. Besides the controversial aspect of it (which for some might make it more interesting) "Hole In The Pumpkin" is actually a nice, early dancehall song. Also nice and good are several other songs on this album, such as "Clown Talking", "Colour Me Reggae (Spread Out)", the groovy "Come Now", or "Girl E". Yet, in my opinion, no track particularly stands out, because there is an overall nice vibe on the album.

The Abyssinians : Reunion
The album 'The Abyssinians-Reunion' is a decent set with interesting, conscious lyrics.