Title
Artist
Label
Format
Date

Contemporary Roots Reggae Vol. 1
Various
H2 Records-Walboomers Music
CD
May 30, 2005

Track list
  1. Inna Dem Thing Deh - Morgan Heritage
  2. Hungry - Fantan Mojah
  3. Invasion - Capleton
  4. Blood Again - Richie Spice
  5. Father I Pray - Luciano
  6. Leave The Trees - Chezidek
  7. Free - Sizzla
  8. Congo Man - Jah Cure
  9. Mr.Big Man - Admiral Tibet
  10. Call On Jah - Turbulence
  11. So Let It Be - Torch
  12. Precious, Precious - Warrior King
  13. Ghetto Boy - Anthony B
  14. A Luta Continua - Luciano
  15. Be Strong - Yami Bolo
Rating : from 5 (excellent) to 1 (poor)
Vocals : 4 Backing : 4 Production : 4 Sound quality : 5 Sleeve : 2/3
This is the first instalment of a new and uplifting modern day Roots Reggae compilation series, reflecting the current Reggae scene in Jamaica, USA, Europe and the UK. It's a real good sampler featuring established modern roots artists such as Morgan Heritage, Anthony B, Sizzla, Capleton, and Luciano, alongside powerful young upcoming artists like Fantan Mojah, Chezidek, Richie Spice, Torch and Turbulence. Included here are three songs which have all hit the No. 1 spot in Jamaica, namely Fantan Mojah's "Hungry" (3 weeks No.1), Richie Spice's "Blood Again (The Way Your Living)" (4 Weeks No.1) and Chezidek's "Leave The Trees" (2 weeks No.1), all currently in reggae charts in the UK, Europe and the USA. Other tracks on this album creating a buzz and tipped for big things later on in the year are the awesome "Call On Jah" by Turbulence, and -- both coming on Down Sound's "Maroon" riddim -- "Free" by Sizzla and "Congo Man" by Jah Cure. The latter -- who continues to record despite serving a lengthy jail sentence -- delivers a real big tune, outmatching the Sizzla piece which is a rather mediocre cut from the Bobo Ashanti singjay from August Town. Morgan Heritage's excellent album opener "Inna Dem Thing Deh" (across Pow Pow's "Superior" riddim) preaches Rasta values and upholds reggae as a musical force for good. Fantan Mojah's hit tune "Hungry" -- with its sufferers lyrics that resounded in a thousand ghetto communities -- and Capleton's "Invasion" are solid efforts for Down Sound's successful "Invasion" riddim, actually a reworking of Studio One's "Pressure And Slide". "Blood Again (The Way Your Living)", a tune with a country feel that comes over the Blaze" riddim, is Richie Spice's second smash hit after his breakthrough single "Earth A Run Red". Richie's track is truly worth of hearing, and the same goes for Luciano's gospel flavoured "Father I Pray" and Chezidek's rocksteady inspired gem "Leave The Trees". Like Yami Bolo, Admiral Tibet has been singing since the mid 1980s, and neither have switched from their Rastafarian principles throughout their careers. "Mr. Big Man" is a good tune from the under rated Admiral Tibet, while Yami Bolo's "Be Strong" with its 'be strong, be humble and be bold' lyrics also makes a decent impression. Newcomer Torch sounds alot like Daweh Congo in the Donovan Germain produced "So Let It Be", which comes across the "Well Cold" riddim. Warrior King's "Precious, Precious" is a nice song, followed by Anthony B's "Ghetto Boy", a rousing celebration of his street credentials. Despite being a very good tune, the inclusion of Luciano's "A Luta Continua" from 2000 (!) is somehow questionable.
Producers on board are Ingo Rheinbay for Pow Pow Movement, Black & White for Down Sound Records, Leroy "Sugar Roy" Moore & Chris "Coxone" Hunt, Hugh Miller, Wooligan, Paul Barclay for KatsJam Records, Donovan Germain, B. Heslop, Levi Roots, Colin Levy & Scatta Burrell, and Leroy Scarlet & Desmond Walace for Dimension Records.