Various artists album review
Blue Steel
June 8, 2004

Tracking list

  1. Whining Machine - Elephant Man
  2. Badman Order - Bounty Killer
  3. Hi Profile - Vybz Kartel
  4. Careful - Wayne Marshall
  5. Tek Him - Mr. Vegas
  6. Badman Way - Lexxus
  7. Give Me Them - Ward 21
  8. Which Gal A Di Hotter - CÚCile
  9. Politics War - Red Rat
  10. Got It Going On - Anthony B
  11. Let's Party - Lukie D
  12. Style - Junior Kelly
  13. Call In - Future Troubles
  14. You Nah - Kiprich
  15. Worry Fi Them - Chukki Starr
  16. Shake That Thing - Angel Doolas
  17. Tonight Alone - Madd Anju
  18. Pop It Off - Future Troubles
  19. Switch The Rule - Taz
  20. Blue Steel Rhythm - Andre 'Suku' Gray, Nigel Staff, Frenchie
Rating : from 5 (excellent) to 1 (poor)

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

With a combination of steel pan and hardcore bass heavy drum beats Frenchie, the talented producer of Maximum Sounds, responsible for riddims like 'Itch', 'Jedi' also featured on "Chich 13 - Dancehall Versions" and of course the absolute dancehall ruling 'Intercom'-riddim, as well as his very strong, still underrated 'Jumbie'-riddim, delivers another wicked riddim. This irresistable catchy bashment backing, with an 'Egyptian'-riddim like keyboard accent over the pans and bass and drums, laid by the French born (hence the name) producer himself alongside Ward 21's Andre 'Suku' Gray and rising riddim-star Nigel Staff gets superb vocal treatments. Nearly every take on the riddim is a winner, whether Elephant Man coughs up more dance instructions and admiration for dancing girls in "Whining Machine", or a very strong Warlord Bounty Killer in "Badman Order" with his lyrics giving the riddim its name, and strong contributions "Hi-Profile" by Vybz Kartel, and "Careful" by Wayne Marshall. And the goodness just keeps coming, Mr.Vegas back to the fore on "Tek Him" over a different mix of the riddim, and fine tunes by Lexxus and Ward 21. CÚCile gives her slack best in "Which Gal A Di Hotter" talking about the tighter ... This riddim carries every kind of voice to higher heights, as Red Rat proves in "Politics War" as well as an absolute killer "Got It Going On" by Anthony B, where he proves he is much more at ease (like Capleton) on these riddims than Sizzla, and must be said Junior Kelly, whose "Style" is the weakest track on this riddim, following one of the finest (yes: a singers tune) Lukie D's "Let's Party". Future Troubles' slack "Call In", Kiprich' statement against 'everybody fight for money, hype' "You Nah", UK's Chukki Star's excellent, yet Capleton-esque "Worry Fi Them", and Angel Doolas party tune of course partially vocodered "Shake That Thing" are all above par tunes. And the man who's style Vybz Kartel allegedly has studied very well before his breakthrough delivers the strong "Tonight Alone" in what now is known as 'true Kartel style' before Future Troubles proves he had more than enough stamina and lyrics for a second tune with "Pop It Off". Newcomer Taz' "Switch The Rule" is a very satisfying introduction, before this superb bashment "Blue Steel Rhythm" gets in its clean version the spotlight it deserves.