April 21, 2009
from 5 (excellent) to 1 (poor)|
|Vocals : 5||Backing : 5||Production : 5||Sound quality : 5||Sleeve : 3/4|
In the mid 90s Sizzla Kalonji (born Miguel Orlando Collins
on April 17, 1976 in St. Mary, Jamaica) started to gain attention from reggae connoisseurs
with a handful of strong 7" singles and the Phillip 'Fatis' Burrell produced debut album
"Burning Up". Soon after the turban-clad chanter established his name as one of the hottest
deejays in circulation with two phenomenal conscious albums, "Praise Ye Jah" (again for producer
Phillip 'Fatis' Burrell) and the Bobby Digital produced "Black Woman & Child", both released in
1997. To call his output in the years since then prolific would be an understatement. Over the
past twelve years he has released approx. 50 full length albums (not counting compilations and
combinations with other artists) and countless singles. And now as a follow up to the very well
compiled "The Journey ~ The Very Best Of"
another rootsy and very strong Sizzla album in the vein of 2006's "Waterhouse Redemption" and 2007's "I-Space" is Sizzla's latest release
on Greensleeves Records.|
All produced by (Melbourne 'George Dusty' Miller of) the band that backed already when he started his career, the Firehouse Crew, this is one of those albums that brings out the best in Sizzla. The albums opens very strong with "Jah Love" followed by the extremely impressive "Ghetto Utes Dem Ah Suffer" and the almost equally strong anti-violence tune "Stop It Right Now". The wonderful acoustic "Gwaan Bear" and very catchy "Hey Youths (Respect)" are followed by Sizzla's tribute to Barack Obama "Black Man In The White House" over an old 'Junjo' Lawes riddim. The great "Future Is Yours" comes over 'Dusty' Miller's 'Black'-riddim before on "Premeditate" Sizzla shows how big he can sound over a Studio One relick when he is in such a fine form as on this album and then he rides a very fine relick with steel pans of "Love's Got A Hold On Me" Sly & Robbie style for "I'm Loving You" to full effect.
"Open Up The Doors" is another truly big tune followed by the smashing lovers tunes (using Alton Ellis' backing and great backing vocals by Conradine Campbell) "What Am I To Do Baby" and "I Love You So". The almost like a freestyle sounding "Tax Payers Money" and the very inspired sounding "Qualities In Life" takes us to the end of this album on which Sizzla reaches vintage heights again, as he has now done for three consecutive Greensleeves albums in a row. It is closed in fine style with the brilliant Nyahbinghi-chant "Babylon Ease Off". If you ever doubted you would hear Sizzla return to the brilliance of his early albums he is now again proving you to be completely wrong. Sizzla's "Ghetto Youth-Ology" is a roots singjay album that must be heard by every reggae enthusiast.