Various artists album review
French Vanilla
CD / 2LP
March 29, 2004

Tracking list

  1. Krazy Hype - Elephant Man
  2. Girls Gone Wild - Assassin
  3. You Are The Best - Bounty Killer
  4. Murderer - Vybz Kartel
  5. Somebody - T.O.K.
  6. Jump Off - Daville
  7. Style Yuh Want - Tanya Stephens
  8. Got It Going On - Wayne Marshall & Bling Dawg
  9. Think Of It - Sizzla
  10. Like "S" - Ward 21
  11. Goodas - Vybz Kartel
  12. Dis Gal Ya - Lady Saw
  13. Cry For Me - Predator
  14. Do Your Thing - Alozade
  15. Gal Can Whine - Spragga Benz
  16. Let's Go - Nicky B
  17. Pound For Pound - Roundhead
  18. Bad Man - Zumjay
  19. Bedwork - Earthworm
  20. Real Hot Gal - Timberley
Rating : from 5 (excellent) to 1 (poor)

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

And another one! Don Corleon Records' producer Donovan 'Vendetta' Bennett has alongside Stephen 'Lenky' Marsden been dancehall's hottest producer last year. After building 'Egyptian' together with and for Daniel 'Blaxxx' Lewis and producing the hit riddims 'Mad Ants', 'Krazy' and extremely successful 'Good To Go' and producing Sizzla's not by everyone well received "Rise To The Occasion" and a major contribution on the production side of Vybz Kartel's very well received "Up 2 Di Time" he built together with Paul 'Teetimus' Edmund and Andre 'Suku' Gray the 'Trifecta'-riddim to take us into 2004. Now he seems to be on a roll to turn the "Greensleeves Rhythm Album" series into a Dovonan 'Vendetta' Bennett series. This riddim is as fast paced as we've gotten used to from him, with a catchy guitar melody, and the strange effect of a flute on top of it of a wicked bassline. Ele's dance instructions in "Krazy Hype" are not one of his stronger efforts, and he gets overtaken by the hook driven delivery of Assassin on "Girls Gone Wild". And no matter what the people say, Bounty also chipping in with a girls tune "You Are The Best" shows fine form as well. Vybz Kartel comes in with 2 tunes, of which the first is a reality tune: "Murderer" that fits the riddim superbly, and the second the strong girls tune "Goodas". T.O.K. have been on top of every riddim they voiced lately, and it is no different here with their "Somebody". Former A.R.P. member Daville is getting the vocoder treatment again, and he certainly has one of the best voices on the scene right now, here doing the great party tune "Jump Off". Another fine tune by Tanya Stephens follows, her "Style Yuh Want" is one of the highlights on this riddim, showcasing her DJ and singing strength, followed by another one of the strongest selections on this riddim "Got It Going On" a wicked combination by Bling Dawg and Wayne Marshall. Sizzla's "Think Of It" is another one of his attempts to ride a current dancehall tune at fast pace, and once again leaves me thinking he can do better, it's as if he voiced it before hearing the riddim, something I've been thinking of more Sizzla tunes on Don Corleon riddims lately. Slackness rules the tune for Ward 21 "Like "S"", spelling out R.E.A.L.R.A.W.S.. in their own inimitable style. "Dis Gal Ya" with a vocodered chorus by Lady Saw is a very fine tune but she has to accept leaving the number one ladies' spot in dancehall to Tanya Stephens. Predator's "Cry For Me" sees him keeping his fine form, he's been consistently riding the riddims very fine lately. Alozade might not be everyone's taste, but I do rate his tunes most of the time, and it's not different here, his "Do Your Thing" is another nice tune. Spragga Benz' "Gal Can Whine" continues the flow of girls tunes on this strong riddim, that even manages to grow on you with every next tune you hear upon it. Nicky B's "Let's Go" shows Daville getting competition, and Roundhead uses a famous melody I can't recall the name of for the chorus of his weed tune "Pound For Pound" I'll be grateful. Zumjay, 'forgotten' after his initial breakthrough keeps working his way back with "Bad Man", before newcomer Earthworm, who came to attention being featured on "Wildin' 'n' Freestylin'" on Ward 21's "Mentally Disturbed" album, now probably holding the crown for most outrageous moniker does the X-rated "Bedwork". Newcomer Timberley, first heard over the 'Trifecta'-riddim closes with "Real Hot Gal" the selections on this strong riddim in fine style.