Album Reviews

The Congos - Swinging Bridge (Médiacom/Nocturne)

Equaling the level of the legendary 'Heart Of The Congos' seems a near impossible task, but with 'Swinging Bridge'...


Roger Robin - Take It Slow (VP Records)

Yours truly had honestly never heard of Roger Robin, but the man turns out to have a velvet voice reminiscent of that...


Elijah Prophet - King Of Kings (PowPow Productions)

Truth be told, yours truly is a huge fan of Elijah Prophet. His 'Got To Be Conscious' on the Crystal Woman riddim...


Perfect Giddimani - Giddimani + Spectacular - Find Yourself (DHF Records)

The debut album of Jamaica's latest singjay-revelation Perfect, who earlier this year stormed the charts with...


Various Artists - King At The Controls, King Jammy Essential Hits From Reggae's Digital Revolution 1985 - 1989 (VP Records)

With the anniversary of the Sleng Teng riddim still fresh in the collective memory, VP Records now pays tribute...


Pama International - Trojan Sessions (Trojan/Sanctuary)

Pama International had the honor of being the first band in years to be offered a recording contract by...


Natural Black - Far From Reality (Greensleeves)

Stating Jamaica is overflowing with musical talent is probably still an understatement, so question is if the island...


King Tubby - King Tubby Meets Jacob Miller In A Tenement Yard (Motion Records)

'King Tubby Meets Jacob Miller In A Tenement Yard' is a curiosity in every way you want to look at it. For starters,...


I Kong - The Way It Is (VP Records)

With its Reggae Rewind series VP Records is focusing on the rerelease of a number of classic reggae albums. The first...


Gyptian - My Name Is Gyptian (VP Records)

Mellifluous is the first adjective that springs to mind when listening to 'My Name Is Gyptian' and just as with honey...


Lutan Fyah - Healthy Lifestyle (VP Records)

Just a few months after the release of the impressive 'Phantom War' album Lutan Fyah is back with this Xterminator...


Leroy Brown - Genuine Love (Dakarai Music International)

'Genuine Love', the new album by Leroy Brown, doesn't resemble 'Color Barier' (a fantastic rerelease by Makasound)...


Martin Jondo - Echo & Smoke (Homeground/Grooveattack)

Germany's latest reggae revelation is... Korean! Vocally Martin Jondo could be Gentleman's younger brother, but...


Abisha - Natural Feelin' (Kiddus Music)

Kiddus Music, yet another new reggae label from France, proudly presents 'Natural Feelin'', the debut album...


Black Uhuru - Black Sounds Of Freedom (Greensleeves)

In their reggae classics re-issue series the Greensleeves label this time tackles the classic 'Black Sounds Of...


Sunshiners - Sunshiners (Jive Epic/Sony BMG)

In the category "oddity of the month" this Sunshiners album can definitely count. The Sunshiners hail from the...


Frankie Paul - Are You Ready (Cousins)

With 'Are You Ready' (on the undervalued English Cousins label which already offered us the great 'Babylon A...


Nasio Fontaine - Universal Cry (Greensleeves)

This is already the fifth album by Nasio Fontaine, the rootsman from Dominica. With 'Universal Cry' he once again...


Norris Man - Home & Away (Greensleeves)

Norris Man seems to have signed with the English Greensleeves label and the resulting 'Home & Away' is a solid...


John Holt - 1000 Volts Of Holt (Trojan/Sanctuary)

Re-release of the classic album of the king of lovers rock, John Holt. Those who are not yet familiar with this album...


King Tubby - King Tubby & Friends, Classic Dubs 1974 - 1978 (Motion Records)

Motion Records is a small English label that specializes in what they call "vintage reggae & dub" and who says...


Anthony John - Won't Loose Track (Roots John Connection/Jet Star)

If Anthony John's name doesn't ring a bell yet, that might soon change. This boboshanti from St. Ann (also the...


Dr. Alimantado - House Of Singles (Greensleeves/Keyman Records)

For this first part of what you might call a Dr. Alimantado Anthology (the doctor is already hard at work on part...


Dub Incorporation - Dans Le Décor (Diversité)

For yours truly, Dub Incorporation, a band from St. Etienne in the south of France, was the discovery at the 2006...


Various Artists - Dip & Fall Back: Classic Jamaican Mento (Trojan/Sanctuary)

Asked about the roots of reggae most people will answer: "ska!" and others might even remember nyahbinghi....


Tanya Stephens - Rebelution (VP Records)

Many a reggae fan will have longed for the successor of the success album 'Gangsta Blues'. Although there are no hits...


Various Artists - Let Me Tell You Boy! (Trojan/Sanctuary)

Tanya Stephens, Lady Saw, Queen Omega, Lady G... Women have conquered their place in reggae music, but times were...


Skin, Flesh & Bones meet The Revolutionaries - Fighting Dub 1975 - 1979 (Hot Pot Records/Cooking Vinyl)

For those for whom the name doesn't ring a bell, Skin, Flesh & Bones was the first band in which Sly Dunbar...


Love Grocer - Across The Valley (Universal Egg)

In essence, Love Grocer is Zion Train's horn section. 'Across The Valley' is reminiscent of the work by Thievery...


Barrington Levy - Shaolin Temple (Auralux)

In the tangle of different releases and re-releases and dubs, reggae can sometimes become a complicated matter,...


African Bush Doctor - Jah Way (Jet Star/Charm)

For his album debut 'Jah Way', Sierra Leone-born African Bush Doctor was clearly inspired by reggae greats like...


Mighty Pirates - Give Thanks (Mighty Pirates/Tout Dread Productions)

Belgian reggae releases are a rarity. Together with The Skyblasters, Mighty Pirates is one of the longest lasting...


Richie Spice - Spice In Your Life (VP Records)

With the departure of founding members Chuck Fenda and Anthony Cruz, the fate of Richie Spice's 5th Element label was...


Jah Mason - Princess Gone... The Saga Bed (VP Records)

Is this finally that great album by Jah Mason we were waiting for? In any case 'Princess Gone... The Saga Bed' seems...


Doniki - Radical Expressions (Makasound)

Makasound proudly introduces her youngest daughter Makafresh, a sub-label that will be focusing on fresh new talent....


Various Artists - Roots Reality Vol. 1 & 2 + Various Artists - Soul To Reggae (Ariwa)

Finally some news from the kitchen of the Mad Professor! A whole series of releases at the same time so something to...


I-Fam - Du Nouveau Sang (Homerecords.be)

The debut of Brussels band I-Fam, short for One Big Irie Family, is highly reminiscent of the output of French...


Various Artists - Il Est Cinq Heures Kingston S'Eveille... (Makasound)

For this concept album Makasound called on some of the most well-known names in the French reggae scene (Pierpoljak,...


Various Artists - Twilight Circus Sound System Presents Rasta International (M Records)

M Records, the label of Twilight Circus-man Ryan Moore, celebrates its tenth anniversary in style with a number of...


Tony Tuff - Say Something (Minor7flat5)

Tony Tuff, once Sugar Minott's partner in African Brothers, is a somewhat underappreciated roots voice from the...


Michael Rose - Warrior (M Records)

'Warrior' is already the second album that Michael Rose recorded for Ryan Moore and once again it is a classic...


Queen Ifrica - Fyah Muma (Flames Productions)

It was a long wait for the debut album of Queen Ifrica, but isn't there a wonderful English expression that goes:...


Lee Scratch Perry - Panic In Babylon (Narnack Records/Suburban)

Thanks to the sound of the Swiss White Belly Rats and producer Pascal Brunkow of the equally Swiss Damp Music, 'Panic...


Winston McAnuff - Paris Rockin' (Makasound)

For this atypical reggae-soul album veteran and bosom friend of Earl Sixteen, Winston McAnuff, joined forces with the...


Luciano - Child Of A King (VP Records)

Unlike many of his colleagues Luciano continues to deliver solid albums and 'Child Of A King' is no exception. The...


Jah Wobble & The English Roots Band - Jah Wobble & The English Roots Band (30 Hertz Records)

Absolutely not my cup of tea, this 'Jah Wobble & The English Roots Band'. The album is more or less the organic...


Groundation - Upon The Bridge (Nocturne)

'Upon The Bridge' is already the fifth album of this Californian reggae band and Groundation continues to do what it...


Alton Ellis - Many Moods Of Alton Ellis (Makasound)

More than enough trilling moments on 'Many Moods Of Alton Ellis', a reissue of a "forgotten" album by Mr. Rocksteady...


Dreadzone - Live At Sunrise (Functional Records)

What to say about this first live album by dance/reggae machine Dreadzone? Fronted by master of ceremonies Mc Spee...


Bounty Killer - Nah No Mercy: The Warlord Scrolls (VP Records)

This double album speaks for itself: 41 (!) of the best Bounty Killer tunes neatly collected on two discs; VP Records...


Tony Rebel - I Rebel (Flames Productions)

This new album by Tony Rebel counts no less than twenty tracks, something his fans will hardly mind of course,...


Jah Mason - Wheat And Tears (Greensleeves)

Just a few months after the release of the impressive 'Princess Gone... The Saga Bed' on VP Records, Jah Mason is...


Eric Donaldson - Cherry Oh Baby: The Best of Eric Donaldson (Trojan/Sanctuary)

The name Eric Donaldson will only ring a bell with the selected few, though just about everyone can still sing along...


Desmond Dekker - This Is Desmond Dekkar (Trojan/Sanctuary)

'This Is Desmond Dekkar' is a nice homage to ska legend Desmond Dekker who passed away earlier this year, and with a...


Dave Barker - Prisoner Of Love: Dave Barker Meets The Upsetters (Trojan/Sanctuary)

On this Lee Perry production, Dave Barker (the singing half of duo Dave & Ansel Collins) sounds as if Sam Cooke...


Cocoa Tea - Save Us Oh Jah (VP Records)

The biggest letdown of this new Cocoa Tea album is that it doesn't offer any real highflyers (though 'Sex, Drugs...


The Viceroys - Inna De Yard (Makasound)

The newest addition in the Inna De Yard series this time doesn't focus on a solo artist, but rather on a legendary...


Various Artists - Alpha Boys School 1910 - 2006, Music In Education (Trojan/Sanctuary)

In Jamaica the Alpha Boys School, an institution for contrarian boys and orphans, has an iconic status and the late...


Turbulence - Notorious, The Album (VP Records)

Turbulence has been tipped as Sizzla's successor for quite some time now. The duo is similar not only in their vocal...


Garnet Silk - Rule Dem: The Roots Of The Reggae Messiah (Trojan/Sanctuary)

'Rule Dem: The Roots Of The Reggae Messiah' is really nothing more than a collection of dubplates recorded...


Seeed - Next! (Downbeat/Warner)

The German band Seeed is preparing to conquer the world. The international version of 'Next!' is not an entirely new...


Scientist - Dub 911 (Nature Sounds)

This album must have one of the most amateurishly done album covers we've seen in months and on top of that the...


Lutan Fyah - Phantom War (Greensleeves)

Lutan Fyah is one of the more promising singjays of the moment and 'Phantom War' confirms his talent. This is not the...


The Scrucialists - All The Way (Rootdown Records/Sonic Rendezvous)

The Scrucialists is the story of four friends who built a studio in the Swiss city of Basel (which quickly became the...


Third World - Black, Gold, Green (Nocturne/I Sound)

Last year the Jamaican super group Third World celebrated its thirtieth anniversary with 'Black, Gold, Green', an...


Leroy Smart - Dread Hot In Africa (Makasound)

The catalogue of the French Makasound label seems to gain prestige with each new release. Like no other they know how...


The Mighty Diamonds - Thugs In The Street (Médiacom)

If you know that 'Thugs In The Street' contains no less than four cover versions (two of which are reworked...


Ijahman Levi - Versatile Life (Médiacom/Tree Roots Music)

In recent years Ijahman Levi has divided his time between waging a legal battle for the rights of his songs on the...


Earl Sixteen - Wake Up (Ariwa)

It looks as if the title of this new album by Earl Sixteen (also known as the voice behind Dreadzone...


Mike Brooks - Rise Up (EB Records)

Mike Brooks is one of those unrightfully forgotten roots voices from the 1970s. As a producer, he was responsible for...


Transdub Massive - Negril To Kingston City (Nocturne)

Reggae lovers will have noticed an increase in US dub and reggae releases recently; releases that often exceed...


Anthony Que - Recharge & Reload (Jet Star/Charm)

Anthony Que's voice holds the middle between Luciano and Freddie McGregor; very promising references to say the...


Jah Meek - Touched By An Angel (Heartbeat Europe/Rounder)

Jah Meek anyone? No? Let's consult his bio then: "Jah Meek was born and grew up in Robin's Bay on Jamaica's northeast...


Jah Mason - Rise (Nocturne/On The Corner)

Jah Mason still delivers far too few really compelling songs and his new album 'Rise' on the French Nocturne/On The...


Anthony Cruz - Mama's Blessing (Jet Star/Charm)

Everyone was expecting this new Anthony Cruz (born Rohan Smith and a cousin of the much too early...


Cedric Myton - Inna De Yard (Makasound)

The reasonings in Earl 'Chinna' Smith's courtyard are getting more and more lively. After Linval Thompson it is now...


Dennis Brown - Super Reggae & Soul Hits (Trojan/Sanctuary)

Re-release of the first album of a then still very young Dennis Brown. The album, recorded for producer...