Various artists album review
05 - 09 - 2000

Tracking list

  1. Fitzroy Face - Smile
  2. Cosmore & Rashalamar - Blessing
  3. Cane Juice - Jah Is Watching
  4. Cedric "IM" Brooks - Rise Up
  5. Stormy - High Horse
  6. Fitzroy Face - Best Of Me
  7. Cane Juice - Life Aint Easy
  8. Fitzroy Face - Fallen Fighters
  9. Melanie - Stepping
  10. Charmaine - Can I Be Loved
  11. Progrezz - Mother's Love
Rating : from 5 (excellent) to 1 (poor)

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

Cosmo Poetic Sounds (CPS) and HillsRadioJam from New York have put out their initial compilation album entitled 'HillsRadioJam - Initialized'. Most of the reggae albums coming out of the US lack a certain amount of authentic Jamaican feel, and only very few artists (check out Rula Brown's album) manage to put out an album with strong Jamaican vibes. This album however easily manages to get you in the 'right groove' !
The eleven track compilation features 4 riddims, all of them build by Derrick Barrnett with the help of Burning Brass, Junior Jazz, Val Jarrett and Courtney Panton. First comes up the talented vocalist Fitzroy Face with Smile, an uptempo tune with a catchy horn line, followed by the roots tune Blessing by Cosmore and Rashalamar on the same riddim. Cane Juice rides the same riddim as he performs Life Ain't Easy. His vocal delivery reminds me of the late great Dennis Brown. Female vocalist Melanie puts out Stepping, a cover of the Marcia Griffiths tune. The last tune on this riddim comes from Progrezz with Mother's Love. His outing makes a very solid impression !
The next riddim is featured three times and starts with track 3, Cane Juice's Jah Is Watching, followed by the instrumental cut Rise Up by reggae legend Cedric 'IM' Brooks. Fitzroy Face enters once again with his version of this riddim called Rise Up.
High Horse by Stormy and Charmaine's Can I Be Loved are both on the same riddim featuring a punching bass line and distinctive horns.
This set is a great compilation of tunes by fairly unknown artists, but with nuff nuff quality !

Teacher & Mr. T.