Various artists album review
Black Out
CD / 2LP
May 22, 2004

Tracking list

  1. Picture This - Vybz Kartel
  2. Wrath - Sizzla
  3. Something Strong - Kid Kurrupt
  4. Anthem - Bounty Killer
  5. Doing It Right - Elephant Man
  6. Bounce It Right There - Sean Paul
  7. Smoking Up - Wayne Marshall
  8. Real Deal - Vybz Kartel
  9. Gi Mi Some More - Buccaneer
  10. Dicky Dicky Love - Bling Dawg
  11. It's On - Nicky B
  12. Gal Yuh Hot - Looga Man
  13. I - Tami
  14. Money Time - Ward 21
  15. Sooner Or Later - Daville
  16. There I Go - Busy Signal
  17. I Need You - Shez
  18. Wok Gal - Jagwa
  19. Hush - Sanjay
  20. Wine Yuh Gal - Red Rat
  21. Blackout Rhythm - Buccaneer & Blaxxx
Rating : from 5 (excellent) to 1 (poor)

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

"Blackout" is the 52nd release in the Greensleeves Rhythm Album series, and it is a killer again. Trying to buy it just a few weeks after its release has been a crime. It's already sold out in almost every specialist reggae recordshop. But the owner of Irie Records, the big mailorder and small shop in Münster, Germany, was kind enough to pass his promo copy to me, enabling me to still review this hot riddim. The 'Blackout'-riddim is big a yard and abroad, and once you hear this riddim, you'll understand why. Extremely catchy riddim, with the sound of a jazzy bass line, very nice melodic synth riff and very strong tunes on it. The riddim has been built and produced by Daniel 'Blaxxx' Lewis, who gaves us the very succesfull 'Egyptian'-riddim, and DJ Andrew 'Buccaneer' Bradford, who named his label 'Opera House' after the style that brought him enormous succes as a DJ. These two have joined forces as 'Black House'. Opening this album is the slack "Picture This" by Vybz Kartel, on which he delivers his great rude lyrics partly spelled picture me and you, you and me / K-I-S-S-I-N-G / then picture me an you, under the tree / F-?-?-?-I-N-G / etc.. Sizzla's "Wrath" is not gonna be my favorite track on the riddim, just compare it to Kid Kurrupt's "Something Wrong" on which one of latest addition to Greensleeves' artist-roster delivers a fine 'what the girl wants' tune, being so much more in synch with the riddim's vibes. Bounty Killer rides badman lyrics for his strong "Anthem", and Elephant Man steels a bit of the Beegees' "Stayin' Alive" melody from the famous John Travolta movie 'Saturday Night Fever', and shows he is not gonna let any chance pass by to incorporate an early 80s melody, lispeling entertaining rude lyrics in "Doing It Right". Catchy delivery of 'big up girl dancing' lyrics, as we've gotten used to coming from him, in Sean Paul's "Bounce It Right There", before Wayne Marshall delivers a partially vocodered ganja tune with a different synth riff on top in another mix of the riddim called "Smoking Up". Vybz Kartel delivers a second tune on the riddim, and is not suffering from his profilic output on all riddims coming out of JA, as he shows with this badman tune "Real Deal". Buccaneer delivers a take on the riddim himself as well, with the gals tune "Gimme Some More", and is followed by Bling Dawg's slacker and as well convincing "Dicky Dicky Love". Nicky B (Mikey Bennett's son, who seems a sure bet on each Donovan 'Vendetta' Bennett riddim as much as Vybz Kartel) is here in fine form for these producers with "It's On", a great party tune. More gals lyrics by Looga Man in his entertaining "Girl Yuh Hot", before new female singer Tami sings the sensual "I" vocodering the chorus and deejaying parts of the lyrics as well for a nice debut. Ward 21 are off the beaten track for their wicked "Money Time", before DaVille, one of my favorite dancehall singers, uses another Sade melody line on "Sooner Or Later", a tune a bit less romantic and more slack than his normal tunes, with a wicked female ah big daddy sample. After using the Nigerian 80s-popstar's "Hang On To Your Love" for his "Gal Yuh A Murder" on the 'Tunda Klap'-riddim, the former A.R.P.-singer now incorporates the melody of "Smooth Operator" to full effect. Relative newcomer Busy Signal, who had a fine combination tune with Kenny on 'Tunda Klap' has a nice bragging tune "There I Go" in a bashment singing and DJ-ing style. Another portion of sensual female (& vocodered) singing is courtesy of Shez, a newcomer proclaiming my body's calling you in her "I Need You". Jagwa comes in with "Wok Gal" in an attempt to regain some of the popularity he enjoyed earlier, and this is after his recent contribution to the 'Marmalade'-riddim another firm step in that direction. But as on 'Marmalade' he is beaten for rhyme and riddim by relative newcomer Sanjay, who delivers the great (also lyrically) "Hush". The last track is for 'veteran' Red Rat, whose "Whine Yuh Gal" is not as strong as one would hope, and leaving you wondering whether he also sang the chorus through the vocoder. This excellent compilation of extremely strong tunes on a fresh & catchy riddim is closed in fine style however, with the clean version of the "Blackout Rhythm" by both producers Daniel 'Blaxxx' Lewis and Andrew 'Buccaneer' Bradford.