This Whole World
CD & limited edition LP
August 17, 2007
from 5 (excellent) to 1 (poor)|
|Vocals : 5||Backing : 5||Production : 5||Sound quality : 5||Sleeve : 4|
Josie Mel - born Donald Burns Campbell on
March 18 1969 - started singing in church at the age of ten. While
attending the Crooked River All Age he sang with the school group and
performed at school festivals. Josie was inspired by dancehall singer
Puddy Roots of the Killer Phonic Sound and his first raw exposure to the
real dancehall was the Creation Sound System. At one of the dances he met
producer Country Tony who took him into the Dynamic Sound studio for the
first time. He recorded two songs for "Supervalue" and he did recordings
for the "Kingswell label". Through the years Josie has recorded for Star
Trail, Black Scorpio and Rainbow Castle Productions, to name a few. After
already having attracted notable attention with 7" singles and tracks on
compilation sets the reggae massive were treated to Josie Mel's first full
length album entitled "Freedom" and
his recordings for the 'flying producer' Andreas 'Brotherman'
Christophersen - whose Minor7Flat5 camp he joined - in 2005, resulting in
the Jamaican Single Charts and huge international recognition gaining hit
with Lutan Fyah "Rasta Still De' Bout" across the 'sweet.com'-riddim and
the flawless same-titled album "Rasta Still De'
And now following that album he returns alongside Brotherman, who has become one of my favorite producers with albums with great riddims by essentially the Firehouse Crew, George 'Dusty' Miller, Leroy 'Horsemouth' Wallace, Daniel 'Axman' Thompson, Danny Bassie, Andrew Campbell, Leebert 'Gibby' Morrison, Paul 'Wrongmove' Crossdale, Lloyd 'Obeah' Denton, Dean Frazer, Nambo Robinson, Dwight Richards, Uziah 'Sticky' Thompson, Sky Juice and others like Brotherman himself and on guitar and sometimes also bass, piano, organ and clavinet, artist(s) albums like Luciano's "Tell It >From The Heart", Al Pancho's "Righteous Men", and Lutan Fyah's "Dem No Know Demself" and last year Anthony B's "My Hope", "Rasta Still De' Bout" by Josie Mel, Tony Tuff's "Say Something", Turbulence's "Do Good", Ras Myrhdak's "Prince Of Fyah Vol. 1" and two months ago Cocoa Tea's standout album "Biological Warfare" as well as the album "The Good, The Bad & The Blazing" featuring Junior Kelly, Bounty Killer & Capleton and three months ago the excellent one riddim album "Bodo Riddim".
Josie Mel shines from the first tune of this album, for which Brotherman recorded a lot of new riddims with the usual suspects mentioned above and with great backing vocals by Pam Hall, mixed by Lynford 'Fatta' Marshall at Mixing Lab Studio when not mixed by himself in Gran Canaria, the wonderful lovers complaint "What Is Wrong" what me ? i keep loving ladies that don't belong to me across the 'Sonne'-riddim, followed by the fierce babylon "Keep Your Distance" over the already more than 4 years old but still very strong 'Knowledge'-riddim and the magnificent combination (once more with his "Rasta Still De' Bout" partner Lutan Fyah) that is this album's title track "This Whole World". "Mystery" is a beautiful lovers tune over the rootsy by horns dominated 'Peter'-riddim and then "Try Jah Love" (not the Third World scorcher), the second (and penultimate) combination of this album is delivered alongside Smokie Benz over the wicked '2 drop'-riddim, and where Smokie Benz' deejaying on "Rasta Still De' Bout"'s "And I Pray" didn't add much to the tune, this time his contribution is as strong as at was alongside Tony Tuff over the 'Bodo'-riddim with "Fulfillment Time".
"Good For Who?" is a brilliant apocalyptic accusation and warning over the dubby 'ABC'-riddim, before the moving story "Little Ronny" over the melancholic 'Rammi'-riddim is sung brilliantly. It's dancehall time over the latin-tinged intriguing syncopated 'Breeze'-riddim with its restrained trumpet accents backing Josie Mel's singjayed call for straight rub-a-dub "Inna De Dance" before switching back to an upful lovers roots mood for "My Baby Cares" over the 'Locktight'-riddim and fierce consciousness in "Give Thanx" over the very impressive 'Bluesdrop'-riddim for which the (great) horn-riffs have been sampled from the "Chronic Horns" Sampling CD, and Brotherman again sampled the (equally great and fitting tight like a glove) horns for his 'Spanna'-riddim that's backing the magnificent "Pressurer" on which Karlene Levy contributes the backing vocals instead of Pam Hall.
It's lovers (gone wrong) time again over the upful 'Traffic'-riddim in i "Surrender" my heart, featuring not only Karlene Levy once more rivaling Pam Hall's excellent backing vocals but also Herman 'Bongo Herman' Davis on percussion in Josie's plea to be taken back by his (former?) lady, before Lutan Fyah is again joining Josie Mel for another superb combination, this time the harsh tune about the split personality and evil mentality of "Mr. Bruno" over the 'Bittersweet'-riddim, before this album is closed with the despite its serious lyrics about the continous struggling almost poppy sounding "On An' On" over the 'Downsideup'-riddim. Both Josie Mel, who fully redeems the promises his "Freedom" and "Rasta Still De' Bout" albums held and the Canary Island's based German Andreas 'Brotherman' Christophersen for his Minor7Flat5-label with some exciting new riddims make a very strong impression again. This album should be picked up by all who like rootsy riddims, cultural lyrics and a strong vocal performance and for sure by all already impressed by the earlier mentioned Minor7Flat5 releases.