Riddim Driven ~ Bubble Up
VP Records
CD / 2LP
April 13, 2005

Track list
  1. Length & Strength - Macka Diamond
  2. It Sweet Me - Elephant Man
  3. No Man Curse - Wayne Marshall
  4. A Nuh Your Fault - Voicemail
  5. God Bless - Assassin
  6. It Deh Yah - Degree
  7. Don't Wanna Dance - Tami Chin
  8. Sticky - Zumjay
  9. Creeping - M'Lonie
  10. Michelle - Danny English
  11. Jesus Is Sweeter - Nicki Tucker
  12. Ain't Scared - Bling Dawg
  13. Everything Is OK - Hawkeye
  14. Change Your Ways - Chico
  15. Living My Life - Red Rose
  16. Nicky B - Wanna Be Your Man (vinyl only bonustrack)
  17. Ruff & Sweet (Bubble Up Version) - Stephen Lenky Marsden (vinyl only bonustrack)
Rating : from 5 (excellent) to 1 (poor)
Vocals : 4/5 Backing : 5 Production : 5 Sound quality : 5 Sleeve : 4
After breaking through not just in the dancehalls worldwide, but Steven 'Lenky' Marsden even was the first reggae producer to ever score a number one 'pop hit' and have two songs on the same riddim in the top twenty on Billboard magazine's Hot 100 chart at the same time. These blockbuster hits were "Get Busy" by Sean Paul and "No Letting Go" by Wayne Wonder on the 'Diwali'-riddim. He then had the also very successful 'Masterpiece'-riddim following it up, and then the great, but underrated 'Dreamweaver'-riddim following up. And now the very entertaining and infectious 'Bubble Up' with its handclaps and full bashment feel originally released on his 40/40 label is featured as the next release in VP Records Riddim Driven series. Opening this set is Macka Diamond telling the men she needs "Length & Strength" to put her foot pon their shoulder, followed by an in form Elephant Man who is still enjoying the night before paraphrasing both lyrics and melody of Laura Branigan's 1984 pop-dance hit "Will You Still Love Tomorrow". Wayne Marshall delivers the atypical fast more deejayed than singjayed who God bless "No Man Curse", before Jamaica's current hottest faves boygroup Voicemail tell a girl "Ah Nuh Your Fault" make your man a take care of you ... Of course Lenky has once again fully exploited mixing the riddim to fit each artist's delivery best, and succeeded once again flawlessly. Assassin brags how he stupid it is to war with someone (like him) who is "God Bless", before Degree points out so tell Ashanti, Beyonce, Mariah / come round ya fi di real ting ... "It Deya" in this fine party tribute to Jamaica. Tami Chin is always one of my female singers on a riddim when she is voicing it as well, and her "Don't Wanna Dance" over a more trashy mix of the riddim featuring a Spanish guitar is very catchy, and her sexy voice makes it clear she got my eyes on the door, i'm ready tonight, know i'm ready for sure, can't you see i don't wanna dance anymore as she want to get to a place to get slow. Zumjay is nice with Sticky, but newcomer M'Lonie really impresses, continuing where she left us with her "Dirty Talk" over the 'Rah Rah'-riddim, now telling i did what i had to, i have been "Creeping", i have been cheating, i've been creeping around with your best friend, before Danny English delivers the very entertaining "Michelle", when you a come, nuh mek nobody see / dem will tell, an try fi mash up fi you fantasy / if you sell, an me's a boy wey pay mi nanni fee / but if you boyfriend a jerk, an nuh know how fi work / check me, mek mi guide insert, followed by the (anti-)dancehall gospel of Nicky Tucker, who sings how she hang out in clubs, but now realizes "Jesus Is Sweeter", and Bling Dawg's warning "Ain't Scared", before Hawkeye explains that if a woman treats her man right "Everything Is OK" and Chico delivers one of his best tunes ever, the girl's confidence boosting never "Change Your Ways". Red Rose's "Living My Life" is lyrically OK, but his singing here is not my cup of tea, and although in the same vein, I enjoy the first unfortunately vinyl only bonustrack, Nicky B's strong "Wanna Be Your Man" much more. Also not included on the CD, but as vinyl only bonustrack released is a wicked version of this highly infectious 'Bubble Up'-riddim, the spanish guitar featuring "Ruff But Sweet" with producer Lenky showing that he is still to be reckoned with. Excellent set of tunes over a great riddim, but it's a slap in the face of the non-7-inch-buyers that Sean Paul's "We'll Be Burnin" hasn't been included.