War Of Words
Singers & Players
February 14, 2010

Track list
  1. Devious Woman feat. Bim Sherman
  2. Quante Jubila feat. Crucial Tony & Prince Far I
  3. Sit And Wonder feat. Bim Sherman & Jah Woosh
  4. Fit To Survive feat. Bim Sherman
  5. Reaching The Bad Man feat. Bim Sherman
  6. World Of Dispensation feat. Bim Sherman, Ari Up & Prince Far I
  7. 91 Vibrations feat. Ari Up & Prince Far I
Rating : from 5 (excellent) to 1 (poor)
Vocals : 5 Backing : 5 Production : 4/5 Sound quality : 5 Sleeve : 3
After having worked for UK distributor Carl Palmer in the mid-70s, 1958 born Adrian Sherwood started running the Hitrun label in 1978 on which he released Jamaican-recorded music by the likes of Bobby Melody, Carol Kalphat, Prince Far I to name three. Two years later, in 1980, the young record producer formed his own On-U Sound label which enabled him to put out production works of his own. By fusing elements of reggae with rock, dance and funk influences he soon achieved a coherent and individual production style. One of his first projects was Singers & Players, which intended to bring together a loose collective of vocalists, deejays, musicians and engineers. Part of this collective were people like Bim Sherman, Prince Far I, Jah Woosh, Mikey Dread, Roydel Johnson aka Congo Ashanti Roy, Tony Phillips, Clifton "Bigga" Morrison, Carlton "Bubblers" Ogilvie, and Style Scott.

"War Of Words" (originally released in November 1981) is the first full length album by Singers & Players. It marks the debut of Bim Sherman as a lead vocalist for On-U-Sound, and furthermore features bizarre bass-dominated intoxicating workouts that were never heard before in that way. The album opens with the outstanding "Devious Woman", the first of five Bim Sherman tunes that are included here. It's followed by Prince Far I's matching "Quante Jubila", which comes across a riddim that first appeared as "Know Yourself" on Creation Rebel's album "Close Encounters Of The Third World". Next up is Bim Sherman's brilliant "Sit And Wonder", a track which is also included on his "Across The Red Sea" album, however without including the worthwhile deejay part of Jah Woosh. And Bim Sherman continues to deliver the deadly goods. "Fit To Survive", a haunting tune underpinned by a beautiful riddim with spacey effects, is simply great to hear. A complete different vibe comes with the solid "Reaching The Bad Man", not least because of the minimalistic riddim and the sound effects that are thrown in. "World Of Dispensation" is another standout effort, actually revived from an earlier pedigree as a 7" single on Bim Sherman's own Scorpio imprint and a tune that has re-appeared now and then throughout the singer's career. "War Of Words" is rounded off by "91 Vibrations", a mind-blowing dubbed up instrumental version of "World Of Dispensation".

The plaintively sweet vocal delivery and the matching subtlety of Bim Sherman's songwriting together with the strong riddims and innovative production style of Adrian Sherwood makes this a truly great album.