Riddim Driven ~ Sweet
April 21, 2009
from 5 (excellent) to 1 (poor)|
|Vocals : 4/5||Backing : 5||Production : 5||Sound quality : 5||Sleeve : 3/4|
Cou$ins Records producer Donville Davis - who had already
proven he's capable of relicking classic riddims in fine style - also showed a nose for picking the
right riddims to license on the three various artists compilations, as "Strictly One Drop Vol. 1"'s
inclusion of CJ James 'Without Love'-riddim and of course Donovan 'Vendetta' Bennett's 'Heavenly'
and then on 'Mo-Bay' & 'Desperate Lover' two riddims from Byron Murray's In The Streetz label were
featured, strange as it may seem with In The Streetz not only being an outlet for Byron Murray's own
productions, but through their Rhythm Streetz Series Byron Murray (and Mr. Vegas) also released on CD
and LP some extremely successful riddims by other extremely hot producers.|
Cou$ins Records kicked off a new series of one riddim instead of two riddim albums called Ride The Rhythm with "Hail The I" featuring the first riddim on the Riddim Kings label produced by Stefan & Sean Shelton a.k.a the Riddim Kings and then one month later they returned with a string of one drop releases licensed from Kemar 'DJ Flava' McGregor's Flava Music and No Doubt Records. Kemar McGregor, who of course cemented his name as one riddim producer with the 'Triumphant'-riddim backing Gyptian's "Mama" and then chipped in with the nice 'Road Block'-riddim and the very nice various combination album aptly titled "Combination" provided Cou$ins with the three excellent one-riddim albums "Trumpet", "Flute" and "Key Riddim" with three volumes in the Ride The Rhythm series in just 8 days.
And Greensleeves, who seemed to have stalled their one drop one riddim releases just like the (dancehall) Greensleeves Rhythm Album series, must have felt they missed out on one too many album there, thus suddenly breaking the Cou$ins connection and releasing the very successful '83 Rhythm' to have their link taken over then already after one album for the release of Kemar McGregor's 'Rub-A-Dub'-riddim and 'Rocksteady' by VP Records in their still running Riddim Driven series that now features the next No Doubt Records riddim 'Sweet' and in the meanwhile the very strong 'Drop It' one and a half year ago was released on Tad's. The 'Sweet'-riddim is an as strong and as big riddim from No Doubt Records as the aforementioned 'Triumphant', 'Trumpet', 'Flute', 'Key', '83 Rhythm', 'Rub-A-Dub', 'Drop It' and 'Rocksteady' are and this riddim once more provides Kemar 'DJ Flava' McGregor with wonderful tunes by many of the artists often voicing his riddims.
Brilliant vocals by veteran Beres Hammond, the often for No Doubt recording Etana with her wonderful "Happy Heart" followed by Freddie McGregor with the excellent "Keeps On Coming Back", the grande dame of reggae Marcia Griffiths with the heartfelt but strong "When You Giving Your Heart" and Glen Washington with "No One Else But You" make clear that we're in for a treat here! A brilliant sweet (pun intended) lovers riddim flawlessly produced by Kemar 'DJ Flava' McGregor. Richie Stephens with "Hey Joe" - a very fine original not the Jimi Hendrix song - and DaVille with "Soldier Girl" maintain the vibe but are outperformed by both Morgan siblings Peetah and Roy 'Gramps' Morgan with their excellent solo tunes "Still The Same" and "One In A Million".
Unfortunately Chuck Fender's "Oh Lord Forgive Them" is not as strong, but both Ginjah with "Prayer" and veteran sweet voiced and ridiculously underrated singer Stevie Face with "Proverbs 6" show what great singers they are as does Duane Stephenson with the heartfelt "24 Hours". Newcomer Prophecy excels on "Life With You" before Bridgez delivers the magnificent combination "Come On Home" alongside Lukie D as last vocal on this excellent one riddim album. And rare but luckily for a No Doubts Records selection the clean version of Kemar 'DJ Flava' McGregor's 'Sweet'-riddim has been included this time, only to emphasize this Riddim Driven "Sweet" deserves to be in your record collection right next to the other scorchers he's produced.