Urban Sedated Records
August 19, 2011

Track list
  1. Tell Me
  2. Jah Will Take Control feat. Bush Doctor
  3. Corruption Is A Crime
  4. Life In The Ghetto feat. Kingsley Wray
  5. Terrorist
  6. Look Into Yourself feat. AJ Franklin
  7. RastaFari
  8. Mr. Reggae feat. Anthony Johnson
  9. Love In The Mailbox feat. Gregory Isaacs
  10. Africa Unite feat. Tan Tan
  11. So Black So Strong
  12. Talaba
Rating : from 5 (excellent) to 1 (poor)
Vocals : 3 Backing : 4 Production : 4 Sound quality : 5 Sleeve : 4
After the compilation set "Global Reggae Selection Vol. 1" and FC Apatride Utd's "Firing the Truth", Urban Sedated Records, the UK based fair trade record label specializing in all forms of Reggae, Dub and Roots music from around the world, comes up with another fine release. This time it's the self-titled debut album of Vital, which features vocal collaborations with Bush Doctor, Kingsley Wray, AJ Franklin, Anthony Johnson and the late great Gregory Isaacs.

Vital started his music career on the streets of Freetown, Sierra Leone where he earned a reputation as a talented hip-hop artist under the name Bullet Rhymes. Vital first came to public eye outside Africa when he appeared on the soundtrack to the movie Blood Diamond starring Leonardo DiCaprio, which tells the story of diamond smuggling set against the backdrop of civil war, poverty and social deprivation in 1990's Sierra Leone. This proved a massive stepping stone in his career and due to negative connotations of the word 'bullet' he changed his name from Bullet Rhymes to Vital. Along with his growing faith in the Rastafarian religion, the hip-hop style delivery of his youth merged with a positive Roots Reggae sound that he is best known for these days.

Vital's debut album is a decent collection of tunes with several strong moments and a few lukewarm efforts. The latter include "Mr. Reggae", the combination tune with Anthony 'Gunshot' Johnson, "Love In The Mailbox" with Gregory Isaacs, and "Talaba", a track that lasts no longer than 1:31. Vital displays his singing skills on the album opener, "Tell Me", while "Corruption Is A Crime" showcases that he can also perform in a rough deejay style. In particular worth hearing are the powerful combination tune with Bush Doctor called "Jah Will Take Control", featuring nice trumpet play of Tan Tan, "Terrorist", "Rastafari", "Africa Unite", and "So Black So Strong".

With this album Vital proves that he's a talented artist, but it is also clear that vocally he has to grow in order to take his musical career to the next level.