Sweet Talking
Solid Foundation
February 19, 2007

Track list
  1. Real Slave Master - Freddie McGregor
  2. Lonely - Lukie D
  3. Clean Up Jamaica - Screwdriver
  4. Fool - Pam Hall
  5. Hide Away - George Nooks
  6. Paradise - Marcia Griffiths
  7. No Part Time Lovin' - Glen Washington
  8. Dash The Love - Jah Ruby
  9. Over Come What May - Fiona
  10. Kadamawah - Everton Blender
  11. You I'm Talkin' - Tinga Stewart
  12. New Girl - Honorebel
  13. Sweet Talkin' - Nikesha
  14. No Mystery - Mona
Rating : from 5 (excellent) to 1 (poor)
Vocals : 4/5 Backing : 5 Production : 4/5 Sound quality : 5 Sleeve : 3
Jah Ruby made a big impression last year with the production of Freddy McGregor's "Lock It Down" opening Freddy's then just released album "Coming In Tough" over a fine relick played by Kashief Lindo, Robbie Shakespeare, Robbie Lyn & Willie Lindo of the classic 1968 Carlton & The Shoes 'Love Me Forever'-riddim and the subsequent release of the two-riddim album "Tickle Me & Queen Majesty" on his own Jah Ruby Productions featuring that riddim and a relick of the originally at Treasure Isle recorded 1967 Techniques' 'Queen Majesty'-riddim. And now the same outfit (Everard 'Jah Ruby' Metcalf at the controls with the riddim laid down by Kashief Lindo, Robbie Shakespeare, Robbie Lyn & Willie Lindo) have at the latter's Heavybeat Recording Studio in Miami teamed up with Solid Foundation Records' producer Peter Escoffery for an equally fine relick of the Heptones' in 1966 for Coxsone at Studio One recorded 'Sweet Talking'.

This ever popular riddim has been revisited several times in the decades that passed since, with Dennis Alcapone being the first to do so at Studio One with "Sweet Talking Version", Dennis Brown in 1998 at Studio One with "Forget Me Not", in 1984 Early B's "Kill Me With Talking" for Jah Thomas and in 1993 a whole selection on Philip 'Fattis' Burrell's Xterminator label with highlights provided by Luciano with "One Way Ticket", Marcia Griffiths with "He Will See You Through", and Sanchez alongside Stinger Man with "Bumptious Girl" and more recently the Blackstones on their Studio One album "Tribute To Studio One" for the tune "Young At Heart". And these 14 tunes are another great selection over this wonderful riddim.

The usual suspects for a relick of a classic riddim voiced in Florida are almost without exception present on this CD, with Freddie McGregor as superb sounding in "Real Slave Master" as he did in the earlier mentioned "Lock It Down", Lukie D representing the lovers faction to the max with "Lonely" and Screwdriver - these days almost exclusively recording for Lloyd & Michelle Campbell's Joe Frasier label and Jason Sterling's Jasfar Records - delivers an excellent tune about the deteriorating situation in his homecountry "Clean Up Jamaica". Pam Hall's "Fool" and George Nooks' "Hide away" are both very fine tunes, but standing out is the 'grand old lady' of reggae and Studio One, Marcia Griffiths with her "Paradise" that is perfect and nothing less.

Glen Washington is sounding almost over the top in his "No Part Time Lovin'", but Jah Ruby himself is doing a fine job with "Dash The Love" before the always sweet & smooth sounding Fiona 'Forever' Robinson contributes the great "Over Come What May" and Everton Blender once more leaves you wondering why he isn't present on many more revival and modern roots selection with the flawless "Kadamawah".

Veteran dancehall singer Tinga Stewart never disappoints on 'Florida'-riddims, whether by Willie Lindo's Heavybeat Crew or from Joe Frasier or Jasfar and this "You I'm Talkin'" with its beautiful male vocal harmonies is no exception at all, sounding super sweet despite its serious message, followed by Honorebel's as always especially lyrically very entertaining "New Girl" and Nikesha's nice take on Leroy Sibbles' original "Sweet Talkin'". Mona's "No Effort" closing this album is unfortunately the weakest tune across this beautiful riddim and I would have loved to see this replaced by the now unfortunately lacking clean version of the riddim or a strangely missing vocal version by Kashief Lindo. Nevertheless this album is wholeheartedly recommended for its beautiful relick and the fine to superb vocals on top of it.