Soul Deep
July 12, 2005

Track list
  1. Good Morning
  2. Where Are You Running To
  3. Girl Come To See Me
  4. All I Want feat. Morgan Heritage
  5. Nothing Bothers Me
  6. Mount Zion
  7. Good To Know
  8. Love You More
  9. Show Me
  10. Be Strong
  11. Why
  12. Love Me
  13. Push & Shove
Rating : from 5 (excellent) to 1 (poor)
Vocals : 4/5 Backing : 4/5 Production : 5 Sound quality : 5 Sleeve : 3/4
"Soul Deep" is the follow-up to Sizzla's highly controversial album "Rise To The Occasion", that was a revelation for some, and a big disappointment for others. This album is not gonna change that opinion as it is arguably the softest Sizzla album to date. Of course he has released more than a couple of albums since "Rise To the Occasion", but this has also been produced by himself alongside omnipresent riddim and production wizard Donovan 'Vendetta' Bennett a.k.a. Don Corleon, using some of Donovan's famous riddims, as well as some one-off riddims that might however still be voiced by others in the near future. Opening the album is after its "Fire Bun" intro the ode to beautiful days "Good Morning" to all my kids and my darling with beautiful instrumentation and a very melodic delivery. "Where Are You Running To" also has an almost non-dancehall groove, Sizzla singing very melodic and deejaying in a very laid-back style. "Girl Come To See Me" also has an almost soul/RnB laid-back vibe, and where "Rise To The Occasion" has been Sizzla's most personal album to date, it has now been overtaken by "Soul Deep" as the chemistry between Donovan Bennett and Sizzla seems to bring out the most vulnerable side of Sizzla. Even on this girls tune, he sounds very relaxed and melodic. "All I Want" done in combination with Morgan Heritage is nothing less nothing more than a straight shot at Billboard's Black 100, the perfect soul-ballad. "Nothing Bothers Me" with its high falsetto is a brillian fusion of salsa, soul and disco, with Sizzla totally in command of the riddim and his almost eunuch-high voice, whereas "Mount Zion" dips into straight disco with Sizzla alternating between melodic singing and some cutting edge deejaying. it's "Good To Know" the love we flow from head to toe is almost acoustic, but still with a US-urban feel, and with Sizzla's melodic singing on top of it, another surprising but prosperous step outside of reggae and dancehall boundaries. "Love You More" once again has Sizzla singing for all you beautiful people out there with that incredibly high falsetto, this time over an acoustic guitar combined with Nyahbinghi drums. "Show Me" that you love me / It's just you and i / And love me / With all your might / Tell me that you love me girl / And no one else a let you / Feel good girl within yourself is another acoustic song, for my lady with its spoken intro Yeah, this one is for my lady / Yeah, baby girl you bring my children / Yeah, all my beautiful babies. (Love you always) / Yeah, know girl as your man i'm always outspoken / Yeah, you just gotta be strong in a relationship / nah take your life for a joke / let yourself a talk it's reality makes him seem almost drunk with love, once again singing with his falsetto over 'Trifecta' and it still seems these hardcore dancehall riddims don't suit his delivery as well as roots, or as proven by this album, urban soul-RnB beats, before his tune on Don Corleon's by now legendary roots riddim 'Drop Leaf', the excellent "Be Strong" is dropped. Den "Why" is Sizzla's furious take on Don Corleon's hardcore dancehall 'Judgement'-riddim, followed by "Love Me", another in falsetto sung alternated with gruff voiced deejaying very convincing love tune, almost making you wonder what happened in Sizzla's personal life to have him voice so many moving lovers tunes on this one album. "Push & Shove" is his decent take on the 'Tighty Tighty'-riddim, where he is doing fine in the verses, but overscreaming himself in the chorus. This is a great album, and Sizzla's most personal to date, and another proof of the chemistry between him and top producer Donovan 'Vendetta' Bennett, but it might not be of everyone's taste as it is very firmly rooted in urban US soul & RnB, without completely being non-reggae/non-dancehall at any point. The album will grow on you, whether you like it from the start, or find it repellent, in the end it's an album you should buy.