Sunday, November 21, 2004

Capleton and Out on a Funky Trip

Reign of Fire
After the albums More Fire and Still Blazin', combined with tremendous controversy over his fundamentalist Bobo Ashanti lyrics, Capleton's back with Reign of Fire. He's still burning down Babylon and deserving of his "Fire Man" moniker, but his flames of righteousness are a little tempered here. Capleton is clever, conscious and as political as ever, but if you're into hardcore dancehall, you might be disappointed - though "Who Yuh Callin' Nigga" is crazy as all hell and there's also the intense "In Her Heart." Tunes like "Remember the Days" and "Sunshine Girl" (with Stephen Marley) present the softer, gentler side of King Shango. 8/10

Out on a Funky Trip: Funk, Soul, and Reggae from Randy's 1970-75
Reggae musicians play funk and soul. Very well. Suffice it to say, I hope there's a second chapter. 9/10

Thursday, November 18, 2004

Richie Spice and Roots of Dub Funk 4

Richie Spice
Spice in Your Life
(5th Element)
Richie Spice is running Jamaica right now. Brother to Pliers and member of the 5th Element Crew alongside Chuck Fender and Anthony Cruz, Spice has had quite the year. This record's got all the huge songs: "High Grade" on the Swing Easy riddim, "Marijuana" - the biggest tune - on the I Swear and "Move Dem Out" on the Ali Baba. It's also the second time he's included "Earth a Run Red" on an album, a track recorded five years ago that remains an anthem. My goodness, it's a crying shame that the 5th Element Crew won't grace our fair city after they perform in Toronto in December. 9/10

Roots of Dub Funk 4: Rise of the Electric Dread
If you like whatever "dub funk" is, I suppose you'll like this. 7/10