All Stars Riddim
First Name Music
December 10, 2007

Track list
  1. Falling For You - Maxi Priest
  2. You're My Lady - Rik Rok
  3. Crossroads - Morgan Heritage
  4. Sunshine - Jah Cure
  5. Silly Dreams - Lady Saw
  6. Take It Easy - Wayne Wonder
  7. Be With You - Tami Chynn
  8. Without You - Tony Gold
  9. She's My Girl - Beenie Man feat. Rik Rok
  10. On My Mind - Kiprich
  11. One Away - Sweet.C
  12. When It Rains - T.O.K.
  13. You Never Know - Voicemail
  14. So In Love - Lutan Fyah
  15. All Stars Version - Sly & Robbie, Lenky, Wrongmove & Troy McLean
Rating : from 5 (excellent) to 1 (poor)
Vocals : 4/5 Backing : 5 Production : 5 Sound quality : 5 Sleeve : 3
Produced by Troy McLean and Garfield Hamilton of First Name Music, the team that also gave us the Steely & Clevie built "Greensleeves Rhythm Album #17 ~ Herbalist / Energy" and "Greensleeves Rhythm Album #32 ~ Threat" as well as several tracks featured on the Jamdown compilations "Dancehall Hits 2001", "Dancehall Explosion 2001", "Reggae Explosion 2002" and "Dancehall Explosion 2002" and the release in VP Records' Riddim Driven series of their 'Career'-riddim, built by Troy McLean himself and hit-riddim builder Christopher 'Longman' Birch, the latest brilliant 'All Stars'-riddim for First Name's Troy McLean & Garfield Hamilton has been built (i.e. live played) by Sly & Robbie, Stephen 'Lenky' Marsden, Paul 'Wrongmove' Crossdale and Troy McLean himself.

I've championed this wonderful riddim with its hypnotizing piano riff since hearing the first two tunes over it by Wayne Wonder and Jah Cure and I won't stop doing so, now that I've heard this smashing set of (lovers) tunes across it, with this independently released First Name Music one riddim album kicked off by UK Lovers Rock veteran Maxi Priest with the wonderful "Falling For You", followed by Big Yard's Rik Rok with the supersweet "You're My Lady" (co-written by Shaggy), Morgan Heritage with their brilliant take on this 'All Stars'-riddim "Crossroads" about the point in a relationship after several years where you either make it or break it and Jah Cure with the heartfelt "Sunshine" that will leave no woman's heart untouched if sung for her.

Lady Saw sings beautifully in her love gone wrong "Silly Dreams" after speaksinging the intro that really adds some extra to this well sung song, before Wayne Wonder delivers the very impressive ballad "Take It Easy", that was also on his recent "Foreva" album and Tami Chynn shows she is one of the best female singers in reggae right now with the magnificent "Be With You" pledging her baby she is going to give him everything. Tony Gold, who over the past year has been voicing more tunes solo instead of restricting himself to the usual Brian And Tony Gold combinations, impresses telling his girl i really don't want to learn to live "Without You" and Rik Rok lets more supersweet vocals flow over this riddim, now for the very nice combination "She's My Girl" with Beenie Man.

And although Kiprich has hardly been voiced in 2007 compared to his successful 2004, 2005 and 2006 years, his "On My Mind" is a blue love gone wrong tune that is truly well sung, followed by female DJ Sweet C, Donovan Germain's protégé who recorded almost exclusively for him, until impressing on Steely & Clevie's 'Twice Again'-riddim, showing she is a fine singer as well (like she did with her "Put Love First" across Donovan Germain's 'Stop The Fighting'-riddim) closely resembling Lady Saw's delivery on this riddim in her "One Away" and T.O.K. who match Barry White's deep voice in the intro of the almost too R&B too soulish and too high pitched delivered "When It Rains" that however works perfect for me in the end. That other omnipresent Jamaican 'boygroup' Voicemail contribute the more straightforward (better) take across this riddim with "You Never Know", before Bobo-chanter Lutan Fyah with the last vocal "So In Love" shows his sweeter side nicely and then the clean instrumental "All Stars Version" makes clear that despite the great vocals pon top of it, part of the magic of this album comes from this superb riddim itself. A must buy album for lovers of Lovers Rock.