June 6, 2007
from 5 (excellent) to 1 (poor)|
|Vocals : 5||Backing : 5||Production : 5||Sound quality : 5||Sleeve : 4|
Troy 'Troyton' Hinds, Dwayne 'Chow'
Hamilton, Glamma G & Special after the 7" selection on their
'Freedom'-riddim immediately released its successor 'Energize' on their Amplex Records, a very
powerful hardcore dancehall riddim with string accents that following its
almost symphonic intro kicks in hard that now gets its independent
release as one riddim album as well. Played by Big Yard & Birchill's
riddim builder and producer extraordinaire Chistopher 'Longman' Birch
alongside Ward 21's Andre 'Suku' Gray and
Michael 'Askel' Fairman, this is a brilliant riddim over which Buju Banton opens this album
with the excellent "Ghetto Reality" before Sizzla Kalonji excels
convincing us that money "Can't Buy Love" they must be dreaming and
the absolute (pun intended) boom tune on the riddim "Bum Pon It" is
delivered in a great effort by Aidonia.|
King Shango Capleton makes clear he not only spiritually loves H.I.M. Haile Selassie I, but physically it's the "Woman Mi Love", a feeling shared by upcoming (but surprisingly still not really broken big) DJ Mr. Pepper in his "No Shorta Girl" proclaiming to be a bedroom terrorist and then the great - in terms of both delivery and lyrics - Vybz Kartel switches the mood back to harsh gangster themes in the brilliant "Bring It When You Ready", a topic (of course) addressed by 'opponent' Mavado as well in the equally excellent "Squeeze Trigga".
Warlord Bounty Killer reassuringly warns all haters and copycats that he don't need "No Special Reason" to kill and following recent real strong 'comeback'-tunes Mad Cobra once more delivers the goods on "Sey Dem A Shotta". Upcoming DJ (and former lyrics ghostwriter for several well-known dancehall artists) G Maffia impresses with "Been Throught The Worst".
Beautiful singing by sweet voiced Flame counteracts Turbulence's powerful deejaying in the extremely catchy "Give It To Her", followed by NAP Musiq recording artist Major Christie completely vocodered weakish "Wine For Me", ruining a tune with a rather catchy hookline, before former ARP singer Mitch, for me normally a guarantee for a strong tune, also despite the strong chorus and verses suffers from the vocoder in the intro being a turnoff.
USA-based Amanda Gordon contributes the beautifully sung invitation to a guy to "Dance All Night", followed by Queen Paula using her favourite lyrical theme in "I've Got It" and once more she lacks the more convincing delivery of e.g. Macka Diamond to improve from contributing mediocre tunes to great tunes to riddim selections.
The still very strong voice of DJ turned producer Peter Jackson a.k.a. Galaxy P. a.k.a. Ras Petah makes clear that Ras Petah still is a master of his trade in "Gal A Pressure Me" before talented Buju Banton protégé New Kidz delivers the last vocal tune across this riddim, the great "Money Ain't A Thing". This "Energize Riddim" album is a very strong debut at album length of Amplex Records and this certainly worthwhile investigating set is rounded off in fine style with the superb clean "Energize Riddim" version.