Strictly Vocals Volume 3
Mafia & Fluxy / Cou$ins Records - Black Arrow
January 23, 2009

Roger Robin - Strictly Vocals, Vol. 3 Track list
  1. Mikey Spice - Remix The Love
  2. Luciano - Somewhere
  3. Tanya Stephens - I'm Not Proud
  4. George Nooks - Break Of Day
  5. Adele Harley - One More Time
  6. Frankie Paul - Running Back To Me
  7. Sugar Minott - Jah Jah Children
  8. Roger Robin - Apologise
  9. True Essence - Love Like Yours
  10. Sylvia Tella - Falling In Love
  11. Adele Harley - The Way You Do
  12. Kofi - She's Always There
  13. Chancellor - Go On Girl
  14. Toria - Sunshine
  15. Glen Washington - I Wouldn't Do That
  16. Leroy Mafia - Jealous Fool
  17. Sylvia Tella - Let's Be Together Again
  18. Nato - Freak In You
  19. Derrick Morgan - Conqueror
  20. Ezikiah Rose - Love & Unity
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Vocals : 4/5 Backing : 5 Production : 5 Sound quality : 3/4 Sleeve : 3
As soon as you've gotten over the annoying Cou$ins attitude to serve up tunes sometimes on at least 2 compilations and an artist-album, you're able to enjoy this very nice strictly singers selection, "Strictly Vocals Volume 3", the latest release on Cou$ins Records, coming courtesy of Donville Davis' real life cousins (pun intended), North London singers, musicians and producers Mafia & Fluxy. The backdraw however is that this compilation not only includes tune that have been released on either "From R & B To Reggae Volume 2" or "From R & B To Reggae Volume 3", but even songs that appeared on "Strictly Vocals Volume 2"!!!

Mafia & FLuxy's lovers and UK-roots riddims however do make up for that, as the album is kicked off by Mike Spice with the very strong "Remix The Love" followed by Luciano with "Somewhere" and Tanya Stephens who absolutely shines on "I'm Not So Proud" over their brilliant 'Down In Jamaica'-riddim relick for Irie Ites that is a more than appropriate tribute to the late and great Joseph 'Culture' Hill before George Nooks delivers his "Break Of Day", another standout over this brilliant relick. One of the biggest suprises of last year - when she debuted with several strong tunes for Mafia & Fluxy - Adele Harley shows once more what a great singer she is with "One More Time" before Frankie Paul with his more often on Cou$ins albums included "Running Back To Me" and Sugar Minott - revisiting his own 1977 Studio One classic "Jah Jah Children" - both represent the veteran Jamaican section with excellent deliveries.

UK roots & lovers rock (& Saxon Sound) veteran Roger Robin with his stunning "Apologise" outperforms the sensational Timbaland original featuring One Republic and the to me completely new male/female singers duo True Essence truly impresses with "Love Like Yours" and then UK lovers rock icon Sylvia Tella with "Falling In Love", Adele Harley with her second smashing tune on this album "The Way You Do" and Kofi with "She's Always There" over a relick of Star Trail's 'Lift Up Your Head'-riddim prove what great female singers the (Jamaicans in the) UK has given us over the years and how well these often are backed and produced by Mafia & FLuxy. Adrian 'Kenz' McKenzie a.k.a. Chancellor plays the other instruments alongside Mafia's bass and Fluxy's drums and coproduces his version of Ne-Yo's "Go On Girl" before "Sunshine" is sung by great UK lovers rock newcomer Toria over the same riddim as True Essence's "Love Like Yours".

It's back to the 'Down In Jamaica'-riddim (on which unfortunately Adele Harley's brilliant "Faded" is not included anywhere on CD yet) for Glen Washington's poignant "I Wouldn't Do That" and then one of the producers and musicians of this album shows his own vocal prowess as the wonderful "Jealous Fool" is delivered by Leroy Mafia himself followed by Sylvia Tella's "Let's Be Together Again" across the same riddim. Jodeci's beautiful "Freak In You" remains a gem when Nato delivers it The King Of Ska, one of the oldest foundation veterans still gracing stages with his performances and studios for his voicings, Derrick Morgan delivers a very nice new version of his seminal 1967 "Conquering Ruler" a.k.a. "The Conqueror" before the album is brought to a close by the to me unknown singer/singjay Ezikiah Rose with the strong debut "Love & unity". This album combines Mafia & Fluxy's brilliant riddim-building & production skills with excellent (UK) vocalists to guarantee more than 70 minutes of pure (lovers rock) listening pleasure.