Album review
Toe 2 Toe Vol. 4
Luciano & Bushman
Charm-Jet Star
February 22 - 2003

Tracking list

  1. Praise Jah
  2. There's Got To Be A Change
  3. Leave Babylon
  4. Have Mercy
  5. You Bring Me Joy
  6. Serve Jah
  7. Apologise
  8. Should I Slumber
  1. The People
  2. You've Changed
  3. Knowledge
  4. Rainbow Sign
  5. Fill My Cup
  6. Hard To Get
  7. We Can Make It Work
  8. You Are My Heartbeat
Rating : from 5 (excellent) to 1 (poor)

Vocals : 4 Backing : 4 Production : 4 Sound quality : 4/5 Sleeve : 3

After matching the likes of Mikey Spice with Garnett Silk, Glen Washington with George Nooks, and well-respected "firemen" Sizzla and Capleton, Jet Star's Toe 2 Toe series hits back with the fourth volume, featuring Jamaica's two leading conscious roots singers Luciano and Bushman. Both singers are strongly influenced by the late great Dennis Brown, both artists have a similar vocal style and mostly concentrating on rootical themes. They have firmly established their names in the forefront of modern roots reggae, with Luciano being the Original Messenger whose career took off in the early nineties, while Bushman, with his deeper and more earthier tone, made his breakthrough a couple of years later.
Luciano is present here with productions from small independent labels from Jamaica, Europe and the US, with Morgan Heritage, Reggae Central, Blue Jeans, Mixing Finga and Natchilous among those sharing production duties. The eight songs he delivers are strong tunes, with Praise Jah being the most dancehall flavored tune. From the late seventies comes the 'To The Foundation' riddim (courtesy of Dennis Brown). Luciano delivers a fine roots tune, Have Mercy, across that riddim. Junior Byles' 'Curly Locks' riddim forms the foundation of You Bring Me Joy, an awesome production by Edward 'Karat' Murray. Apologise is a reworking of 'I Need A Roof', while Luciano's closing tune tackles the immortal Dennis Brown/Aswad riddim 'Promised Land'. A crucial BooM tune!
Next comes Bushman. His set kicks off with three UK productions by Tony Philips from the Ruff Cutt camp. The easy skankin' tune The People grabs you and stays in your head for quite a while. Then You've Changed, a compelling lovers tune and Knowledge, which happens to be a decent Rasta tune. From the Stingray camp comes Fill My Cup a tune he recorded some years back, but one that remains one of our favorite Bushman tunes. 'Money In My Pocket' is a strong riddim, here rebuild by Mark 'Stone Cold' Hudson and renamed Hard To Get. The album closes with You Are My Heartbeat a tune that was released as a 7" single by Checkmate records.
Head to head, toe 2 toe... Bushman and Luciano are in top form here!

Teacher & Mr. T.