Thursday, August 26, 2004

Sizzla and Michael Rose

Jah Knows Best
It's tough to demand consistency from a guy who's released over 25 albums in the last 10 years - four this year alone. Jah Knows Best finds Sizzla in a fiery mood, and his lyrics here are pure consciousness. Unfortunately, save for "Real People" and "Girl You Gonna Need My Love," boom tunes both, this record suffers from weak riddims. Phillip "Fatis" Burrell seems a little off recently, but at least he isn't responsible for Sizzla's cover of Bob Dylan's "Subterranean Homesick Blues." We can thank some California hippie for that mistake. I can't complain, really, considering that Sizzla's Stay Focus comes out next week. 7/10

Michael Rose
Happiness: The Best of Michael Rose
Sure, this is okay, but why not just listen to Black Uhuru? 7/10

Thursday, August 12, 2004

Beenie Man

Beenie Man
Back to Basics (Virgin/EMI)
Beenie Man's been at this since youthman days. Sure, 2002's Tropical Storm was an overly-desperate crossover attempt, but apart from a pathetic Sean Paul imitation on "Get on Bad," it would seem that Jamaica's favourite former child star might finally get his due. "Dr. Know" (Pretty Pretty riddim) and "Dude" (Fiesta riddim) are standouts, thanks to production from Dave Kelly, and "Good Woe" is one of the best singles on the infectious Coolie Dance riddim. If for some reason you tire of gal tunes, "Back Against the Wall" proves that Beenie can be as eloquent about ghetto suffering as he is about his sexual prowess. 8/10