Spice In Your Life
5th Element Records-Munich
February 27, 2005
from 5 (excellent) to 1 (poor)|
|Vocals : 4||Backing : 4||Production : 5||Sound quality : 5||Sleeve : 4|
It was in 1995 that an unknown singer hit the Jamaican charts with a tune called "Living Ain't Easy". With this successful 7" single then 24 year old Richell Bonner aka Richie Spice showed his skill and talent as a singer and songwriter for the very first time. Over the next few years he scored some hits, but failed to achieve a real breakthrough. With the release of his 2000 album "Universal" on Heartbeat Records, Spice was regarded as an extremely promising artist, although not as highly rated as modern roots artists like for example Luciano and the late Garnet Silk. It's only over the past 18 months or so that the reggae massive in Europe and the US has sat up and started to take real notice of the exceptional talent of Richie Spice due to his five year old "sleeper" hit "Earth A Run Red". Since the song hit, Spice's singles have been in high demand in the specialized record shops the world over. Many of his Jamaican chart busters are gathered here, including the spirited keyboard-and-bass-driven "Earth A Run Red", the sonorous hymn to herb "Marihuana (On The Corner)", the ominous "The Way You Living (Blood Again?)" - here entitled "Folly Living" - with Spice's mournful wailing accompanied by a somber riddim, the awesome "More Terrible (aka 911)", and "Move Dem Out", which benefits from his empowering delivery. "Spice In Your Life" also features two combination tunes, with "Fake Smile" being the most notable. This track features Chuck Fenda, another long time artist whose breakthrough parallels Richie's own. The earlier released songs on this album are supplemented by equally strong album only material and with (mostly) superfluous interludes between tracks.