Bribery And Corruption
Twinkle Brothers
Twinkle Music
December 4, 2012

Track list
  1. Life is What You Make It
  2. Bad Habits
  3. Material Gain
  4. Dub Version
  5. Jah Bless A Good Woman
  6. Dub Version
  7. Bribery And Corruption
  8. Dub Version
  9. Mr.Wheeler Dealer
  10. At The Ninth Hour
  11. Dub Version
  12. Hail HIM
  13. Life Is What You Make It (Dub)
  14. Bad Habits (Dub)
Rating : from 5 (excellent) to 1 (poor)
Vocals : 5 Backing : 5 Production : 5 Sound quality : 5 Sleeve : 5
Every now and then, a new release comes along and epitomizes everything DREAD. This is the natural fact with The Twinkle Brothers new effort, "Bribery And Corruption". There are a handful of new Twinkle releases out right now, but this one shines above the rest. Norman Grant and crew have delivered the goods for decades; sometimes good, sometimes excellent and occasionally flawless. This yah one is the latter, for surety!

The Twinkle Brothers were formed back in 1962, with all members hailing from Falmouth, Jamaica. The original lineup consisted of Norman Grant (vox,drums), his brother Ralston (vox, riddim guitar), Eric Bernard (piano), Karl Hyatt and Albert Green (percussion). After winning local talent shows, the group spent the decade recording for such greats as Leslie Kong, Lee Perry, Phil Pratt and Bunny Lee. By 1975, a revamped lineup took the world by storm with the Rasta anthem fueled set, "Rasta Pon Top". This breakthrough garnered a stint with Virgin's Frontline Records for the duration of the decade. The result were the classic albums, "Love", "Praise Jah" and "Countrymen". The dawn of the 80's saw the band creating their own label and on their own. Some members disbanded and Norman maintained a solo career using the "Twinkle" moniker. Ralston has continued to collaborate but it's generally Norman and an influx of talent carrying on the message. Norman and crew have itinually put out remarkable sets; such as "Kilimanjaro" (1985), "Rastafari Chant" (1989), "Babylon Rise Again" (1992) and last year's "Gift Of Jah" (that featured Ralston).

"Bribery And Corruption" is a stellar set that features some of U.K's top bubblers. Veteran Jerry Lions handles all guitar and bass work, Barry Prince juggles drums, Aron Shamash bubbles on keys and Norman handles all vocals and percussion. The opener, Life Is What You Make It, is a stream of consciousness on top of a rugged and tight riddim that sets the tone for the album. Norman is exceptional in his emotional and undiluted observational stylee. Bad Habits exemplifies his mastery of percussion and the serious drum work from Barry P. Great engineering work that gives a dread and ethereal feel. Material Gain is a smoking track that depicts the woes of vanity and homage to the ones that stand firm. The version is totally unique with bin shaking focus on the rolling drum pattern-ites. Jah Bless A Good Woman is a Roots Rocker that tells a great story of a strong woman. Mr. Grant is brimming with intelligence! The version is tasty; sounding like the seminal 'Dub Massacre' albums of the 80's. The title track is in classic Twinkle fashion. A strong anthem held up by an unflinching riddim. The version has Mad Professor tendencies that showcases the full sound of the riddim quartet. There is a sense of true acknowledgement between all musicians here.

Mr.Wheeler Dealer is a great Dancehall shaker with some early Twinkle vocal stylings. The mesh of old and new is sewn together with Aron's absolute keyboard work. Positivity abounds on At The Ninth Hour. Reminiscent of the "Me No You, You No Me" (1982) album; Norman scats and skips to perfection about the power of prayer and hope. The version is a mind blower; great twists on the drum and guitar work -- sound system ready. The spiritual, Hail HIM is a prime example of how Norman can make his powerful voice(s) into great harmony. This track is tuff; giving praises to the Most High. The final two tracks are top notch dubs of the first two vocal tracks. Once again, the emphasis on the drum rolls is ingenious; not a technique readily used in Dub.

"Bribery And Corruption" is a sure fya winner on all aspects. From the Dread cover photo down to the final mix; this is a fine effort from Norman Grant. Year after year, decade after decade, this legend doesn't waver in quality or quantity. One might think that musicians slow down over the years and substance might dilute. This is not the case with Norman Grant; his releases are still consistent and the substance is absolute. Jah star is shining bright for The Twinkle Brothers. Highest recommendation! Go deh.