Various artists album review
Red Alert
CD / 2LP
May 3, 2004

Tracking list

  1. Real Hot - Capleton
  2. Never Leave You Lonely - Mr.Vegas feat. Irishman
  3. Hot Like We - Ce'Cile
  4. Let It Shine - T.O.K.
  5. Only Takes Love - Sizzla
  6. Fi Mi A Dweet - Vybz Kartel
  7. Mad Sick - Predator
  8. Player Haters - Ward 21
  9. Gal Dem Want Me - Zumjay
  10. Shout Out - Beenie Man
  11. Pull Up - Mr Easy
  12. La Di Da Di - Ninja Kid & Bajie Man
  13. Cho Cha (Spanish Mix) - Papichulo Crew
  14. Some Bwoy - Tanto Metro & Devonte
  15. Don't Trespass - Lady Saw
  16. Real King - Kalanga & Zaire
  17. Gimme Gun - Mad Cobra
  18. Never Mean To - Gabriel
  19. Press Pan - Mega Banton & Delly Ranks
  20. High Grade - Roundhead
  21. Gal So It Cool (French Mix) - Firestorm
  22. Red Alert Rhythm - South Rakkas
Rating : from 5 (excellent) to 1 (poor)

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

After being responsible for the Greensleeves Rhythm Album #35"Clappas" the South Rakkas Crew is now giving us the 'Red Alert'-riddim. And while it might not reach the same attention levels as 'Clappas', it is certainly as infectious. With the same custom intros for each track as on their previous successful riddim, the up-tempo 'Red Alert' with its bubbly electro bassline is guaranteed to keep the dancehalls' crowds moving. From Capleton's strong "Real Hot" with 'his' blazing-more-fire-theme delivered very much in sync with the riddim, it goes into the fine "Never Leave U Lonely" combination by Mr.Vegas and Irishman. Ce'Cile presents a very fine crossover attempt with "Hot Like We", and so does always in great form T.O.K. on their excellent "Let It Shine". Sizzla's "Only Takes Love" gets some flamenco guitars and clapping thrown in the mix to full effect, this is one of the very few tunes by him on the recent Greensleeves Rhythm Albums I really rate. Vybz Kartel's "Fi Mi A Dweet" is upto his high standards but nothing more than that, and Predator's "Mad Sick" shows he is totally capable of riding any riddim, but he uses another 'Mad Sick' hookline. Ward 21 is still one of the hottest crews alongside T.O.K. voicing lots of hot riddims, and they use one of their common themes for the convincing "Players Haters". Zumjay rides the riddim backed by some female 'oh oh oh' vocals contributing the very nice "Gal Dem Want Me", before Beenie Man delivers the catchy and slack "Shout Out", one of the highlights on this riddim. Mr.Easy's "Pull Up" is a fine singers tune with enough crossover potential as well, followed by the fast paced delivery of South Rakkas' own Ninja Kid with Bajie Man on "La Di Da Di". Next up is the first ever foreign language dancehall tune on Greensleeves, the American Papichulo Crew's "Cho Cha" with a latin piano riff woven into the riddim, a tune that will certainly make its way into the Hispanic dancehall market. "Some Bwoy" is less poppy than normally is the case with Tanto Metro & Devonte's tunes, yet it is a very fine tune, the more syncopated delivery fitting the riddim very well. Lady Saw shows she is still a lady to be reckoned with on "Don't Trespass", and her tune is followed by newcomers Kalanga & Zaire's "Real King", not a conscious tune, just telling what the girl needs. Mad Cobra appears once again (after his tune on the 'Coolie Skank'-riddim "Wok Dat") on a current riddim with "Gimme Gun", and he doesn't seem to have lost his touch. Gabriel, who was caught in a controversy warring with Kiprich and Predator, delivers "Never Mean To", a tune addressed to the one whose girls he took away, and a very enjoyable tune. "Press Pan" shows there are more veterans like Cobra returning to the scene, in this case the ruff-voiced DJ Mega Banton & Delly Ranks combining forces, after they both sporadically voiced tunes the last two years, they are back en vogue again, and will be staying there with tunes like this one. Roundhead seems to be revisiting his roots, not only using his favorite theme, but also with "High Grade" copying the title of one of his first big big tunes for Monster Shack Crew in 1998. The French DJ Firestorm contributes "Gal So It Cool" with partially French lyrics for a tune that certainly has a more continental European feel and thankfully Greensleeves and South Rakkas Crew contribute a clean version (with whistles) of the "Red Alert Rhythm" riddim as well, to close a very entertaining album on an excellent riddim.