Young Lions Vol. 2
Charm-Jet Star
September 28, 2005

Track list
  1. Freedom - Turbulence
  2. So Good - Jah Mason
  3. Hard Nut To Crack - Fantan Mojah
  4. Farmer Brown - Bascom X
  5. U Make My Day - Jah Mason
  6. My Way - Jah Mason
  7. Don't Bow Out - Fantan Mojah
  8. Take It Slow - Bascom X
  9. Live In Love - Turbulence
  10. Love Is Amazing - Jah Mason
  11. Murderer - Fantan Mojah
  12. Badmind - Bascom X
  13. Stay Strong - Turbulence
  14. Acres And Acres - Jah Mason
Rating : from 5 (excellent) to 1 (poor)
Vocals : 4 Backing : 4 Production : 4 Sound quality : 5 Sleeve : 4
Jet Star's follow up in their 'Young Lions' series once again features four up and coming reggae artists with each of them contributing between three and four tracks each. The names showcased on this volume don't really match up to those that made up the first: Jah Cure, Richie Spice, Chuck Fenda and I Wayne were more established when the first instalment was released than Bascom X, Turbulence, Fantan Mojah and Jah Mason currently are. However they are names which should be familiar to most reggae fans, as all have had some degree of success, and they have the undoubted potential to match the status of their predecessors in this series, given time.

The album kicks off solidly with a track called "Freedom" from Turbulence, a singjay too often dismissed as a Sizzla copycat. He undoubtedly bears some similarities to the man he has spent much of his career supporting on live tours but when he breaks into his full singing voice the difference from Sizzla's falsetto is marked. The track "Live In Love" is a fantastic example of Turbulence's quality and versatility, he is equally at home singing or delivering a more aggressive style, and tracks of this quality are likely to deservedly see his star rise even further.

Jah Mason, who this reviewer has previously thought of as unremarkable, provides a rougher more aggressive delivery than the other artists which helps to balance the album. He has a DJ'ing style which often sounds like Capleton (his mentor) and his vocals on this compilation are put to good use over Pow Pow's popular and irresistibly catchy 'Superior' and 'Blaze' riddims.

Fantan Mojah, arguably the most pre-eminent artist included, and recently propelled into the spotlight due to the success of his huge hit singles 'Hungry' and 'Hail the King', unfortunately contributes just three tracks. However, this is more than made up for by the quality - the classic dancehall sound of "Hard Nut To Crack", and the rousing "Don't Bow Out" are two of the best tracks on the CD.

Bascom X, a 26 year old singer from Portmore JA, edged into the consciousness of reggae fans with his song "Lonely" on the 'Hard Times' riddim, sadly not included on this compilation. His vocal style is perhaps more refreshing than any of the others on this album, it falls somewhere between singing and chatting, with a strong Jamaican accent and a delivery punctuated by a nasal-sounding wail. Here he contributes two fantastic songs, first the relentless "Farmer Brown" and then successfully pulling off a slightly more aggressive approach in "Take It Slow".

Despite lacking the big names of the first edition, or some of the better known singles from the featured artists, this is still an excellent compilation of some of reggae's brightest prospects. For people who are already familiar with these artists this album will be more than welcome, due to the lack of a big label release from Bascom X or Fantan Mojah, whilst those wanting to hear the next big thing in reggae music should definitely check it out as all these artists are sure to be on top of the charts for years to come.