Roots Tonic A Lead
Hi Score
December 3, 2005

Track list
    'Roots Tonic'-riddim
  1. Rasta Should Be Deeper - Junior Kelly
  2. Ancient Memories - Luciano
  3. Mi Chalwa - Jah Mason
  4. Too Abusive - Lady Saw
  5. Higher - Chuck Fender
  6. From The Realms - Zahair
  7. Wipe The Tears - Queen Ifrica
  8. Heading To The Top - Utan Green
  9. Take Care Of Yourself - Tony Rebel
  10. Pick Up Line - Anthony Cruz
  11. Real Life - YT
  12. Rasta Fi Lead Yah - Anthony B
  13. Still Convinced - Lady Saw
  14. Love So Real - Sizzla
  15. Make Believe - Junior Kelly
  16. Overjoyed - Gentleman
  17. Boyfriend - Tony Curtis
  18. Lose The Love - Zahair
  19. Just Like That - Jah Mason
  20. Rain Or Shine - Angel Doolas
Rating : from 5 (excellent) to 1 (poor)
Vocals : 4 Backing : 4/5 Production : 5 Sound quality : 5 Sleeve : 3/4
The Swedish label Hi-Score Music made serious waves in the dancehalls (at least all over Europe) in 2004 with their self played production the 'Leader'-riddim and then in 2005 impressed even more with their Firehouse Crew played 'Roots Tonic'-riddim. Until now these were only available to the vinyl-buying reggae enthusiasts, but finally Chilly & Prince B have released the tunes on these riddims on this two-riddim album. Not seen in any other regular shops yet, it is available through their own website and at Münster's Irie Records shop and mailorder. The album opens with Junior Kelly's great "Rasta Should Be Deeper", the first of the 11 tunes over the not too slow paced horn embellished 'Roots Tonic'-riddim, followed by Luciano's intriguing "Ancient Memories" and one of the biggest tunes on the riddim at dances, the excellent ganja tune "Mi Chalwa" by Jah Mason. Lasy Saw is singing the wonderful - for lack of a better word - statement against domestic violence "Too Abusive", followed by Chuck Fender's praises of Jah's love in "Higher" and Zahair's beautifully sung "From The Realms" of his glory. Queen Ifrica has become one of my favourite female roots singjays and her very strong and impressive "Wipe The Tears" just shows why. Utan Green is in fine form on the conscious boast "Heading To The Top" followed by Tony Rebel's fine "Take Care Of Yourself" warning that we all only got one life to live and Anthony Cruz' beautiful declaration of love "Pick Up Line". YT's "Real Life" is the last tune on this riddim, delivered in the same way as Perfect or Fantan Mojah have made so popular now. The second riddim featured is the one year older (2004) 'Leader'-riddim, played and produced by Kent 'Chilly' Westerberg & Pontus 'Prince B' Pċlsson, kicked off by Anthony B's "Rasta Fi Lead Yah", then Lady Saw's once again sung instead of deejayed contemplations over her former lover "Still Convinced" that i am the one god made for you and Sizzla's smooth "Love So Real". Junior Kelly's "Make Believe" is less impressive than his tune over 'Roots Tonic' but Gentleman excels on "Overjoyed" that was also featured on the first Maxi-CD drawn from his 2004 "Confidence" album, the great "Superior (EP)". Tony Curtis delivers a prime example of smooth singing with his to be your "Boyfriend" followed by another impressive Zahair tune, "Lose The Love" and Jah Mason's - like Junior Kelly a bit less impressive effort over the 'Leader' than the 'Roots Tonic' - "Just Like That". The album is closed by former Bounty Killer sidekick Angel Doolas silky "Rain Or Shine". A great album that every non-vinyl buying roots enthusiast should buy, even with the versions of both riddims excluded (due to lack of space on the disc I presume).