Sizzla Kalonji
Judgement Yard/J-Vibe Productions/868 Music/Zojak World Wide
Digital Release
Februari 26, 2016

Track list
  1. Longing For
  2. Leave My Ganja Alone
  3. Street Life
  4. Beautiful Place
  5. Show Them The Way
  6. Breath Of Life
  7. Love Me
  8. Never Ending Love
  9. You Belong To Me feat. Samira Taylor
  10. Bad Mind feat. Jah Cure
  11. High Grade
  12. Babylon Kingdom Fall
  13. Watch Over You
Rate this album!
Cast your vote below.

Essential -Votes: 7-
Very Good -Votes: 5-
Good -Votes: 2-
Average -Votes: 1-
Disappointing -Votes: 0-
A Waste Of Time -Votes: 0-

Total votes : 15
Rating : from 5 (excellent) to 1 (poor)
Vocals : 4 Backing : 4/5 Production : 4/5 Sound quality : 5 Sleeve : 4
Without any doubt international reggae icon Sizzla aka Sizzla Kalonji is one of the most successful Jamaican reggae artists. He's noted for his high number of releases, with over 70 solo albums and countless singles released worldwide. The huge catalogue he has built since he emerged in the mid-nineties includes mega hits such as "Just One of Those Days", "Solid As a Rock", Black Woman & Child", "Rise To The Occassion", "Thank You Mama", "Take Myself Away", "Dem A Wonder", "Taking Over", "No White God" and "Words Of Divine", to name only ten. When the new roots movement (sometimes referred to as 'Rasta Rennaissance') blossomed in the second half of the nineties, Sizzla was widely acknowledged as being a strong exponent of this movement towards the 're-embracement' of Rastafarian values in reggae music, by recording material which was concerned primarily with spirituality and social consciousness.

Sizzla Kalonji's most recent album is entitled "876" - a reference to Jamaica's telephone area code - and spans 13 tracks, mixing songs that deal with spiritual and social issues with tunes about the good herb and affairs of the heart. The latter is actually the theme of the very first track on this album entitled "Longing For". Underpinned by a fresh 'one drop' riddim and appealing female backing vocals, this is a solid tune worth hearing. The mood changes drastically with the fiery sung "Leave My Ganja Alone". The song, incorporating biting lyrics addressed at the Babylon system, is a true ganja anthem that hits real hard. Next comes the social commentary called "Street Life", a thrilling uplifting effort that deals with life in the ghetto. Definitely one of the standouts here. The decent "Beautiful Place" sees Sizzla partly utilizing his high-pitched voice, which sometimes can get real annoying, but luckily that ain't the case here.

Then it's time for spreading a meditative feel and vibe with the nyahbinghi styled slow-paced "Show Them The Way". Vocally the spiritual "Breath Of Life", produced by J-Vibe (producer of the songs "Child of Jah" feat. Chronixx and "We Are Warriors" feat. SOJA's Bobby Lee on Morgan Heritage's Grammy Award winning album "Strictly Roots"), brings to mind the early stage of Sizzla's career. One of the highlights for sure! With "Love Me" we enter the lovers zone of this album, which furthermore brings the listener "Never Ending Love" and "You Belong To Me", the collaboration with, to us unknown, Samira Taylor. However, even though "You Belong To Me" is a good effort (and we've to admit that also the other two tracks aren't bad at all), it's not our favourite part of this set. Therefore these three tracks cause too little excitement.

Almost 20 years after Sizzla and Jah Cure did their first collaboration tune, the great "King In This Jungle", for Beres Hammond's Harmony House label, they join forces again on the solid "Bad Mind". Next comes the second ganja anthem, the powerful "High Grade". This tune has a great sounding backdrop with a thumping bass, nice horns and towards the end some dubby effects. The uptempo "Babylon Kingdom Fall", dominated by percussion work and an ear-catching chorus, is an excellent aggressive sounding song, actually the kind of tune that needs repeated listening to really appreciate it. The album is rounded off with the beautiful "Watch Over You", which sonically - compared with the previous track - is totally different.

Overall opinion is that "876" can't be qualified as one of Sizzla's very best albums, but it's certainly not far behind the ones that deserve to be called so.