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Sizzla - The Scriptures

Sizzla - The Scriptures

Sizzla - The Scriptures

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Sizzla Kalonji forges typical brilliance.

Sampler

Fans of the once over-active genius that is Sizzla Kalonji have perhaps taken both he and his immense talents for granted as once upon a time in the not too distant past he was counted upon for three or four generally very good releases in any given year and, looking back, listeners rarely went more than a four or five month period without a new album. Times have most certainly changed these days as, shockingly, the last legitimate release from August Town's most famous resident came nearly seventeen months ago in the form of the decent old school set, 'Crucial Times', in January 2010. Seventeen months, just four years ago or so, would have been enough for him to reel off six or seven albums, including one potential all-time classic. However, with that being said, the time has definitely added to anticipation for the next album from Sizzla, whatever it may be, and now that wait is over.

Sizzla - The Scriptures'The Scriptures' is the brand new superbly titled set from the legendary fiery chanter who has been enjoying a bit of a comeback in recent times having managed to register several significant singles and - All the while remaining very active in recording and touring as well. With that, it would figure that an album would be a perfect way to even further reignite passions across the world for this undeniable force in Reggae music and to do that, Sizzla has returned to a very familiar source, although one who makes his debut producing an album for him. Lloyd 'John John' James Jr. is well known as being the son of, arguably, the greatest producer the genre has ever known, King Jammy, but he's also a very strong maestro in his own right. Having previously worked with Kalonji on an impressive string of singles of various styles [several of which would appear on 'Waterhouse Redemption', the 2006 King Jammy helmed set], John John now acts as the primary 'caretaker' of an entire album and given the obviously high level of musical chemistry between the two, the results should come to the surprise of no one.

'The Scriptures' is a very very good album.

Throughout the thirteen tracks on this album, Sizzla maintains a predominately laid back style and that, when linked to these kind of big sounding and somewhat old school compositions provided by John John is just very attractive musical craftsmanship which is sure to thrill older fans of the artist, and perhaps newer ones as well.

You'll go quite deep into this one before you reach a tune which isn't to a high standard and several highlights are along the way. One of the very first is the sublime In Jamaica, which finds Sizzla giving praise to life in the sweetest place on earth via a version of the venerable Father Jungle Rock Riddim.

"Things run different in Jamaica
Black people live decent in Jamaica
Ah beer superstar come from Jamaica
Badmind people stand far from Jamaica"

Just before that is the album's sole official combination, the very heavy The World is Watching which features Canadian Hip-Hopper, Peter Jackson, and is this very large piece on which Kalonji reminds all that, no matter who you may be, someone has their eyes on your actions, so make sure your actions come from a righteous place. For his part, Jackson does add to the song as well. The classically 'rinsed' Cleanse My Soul is another fine tune and one which may not [but it may be] be quite vintage material, is extremely close and, much like the vast majority of the album on which it appears, is ultimately pointed in the right direction in terms of its quality.

The album pinnacles between two extremely impressive songs What A Whoa and the previous hit single, Music In My Soul from the Zion Gate Riddim. Both of these selections would rank exceedingly well in comparison to anything Sizzla has done over the course of the past decade. And they both are, in their own respective ways, exemplary of most of the tunes on the album - They're very well done and exist somewhere in a healthy and vast spiritual context. Other highlights include the gorgeous Jah Is My Shield, the strange love song, Let It Be and God Bless You Mama.

There's also the title track on which Kalonji utters the vaguely ironic lyric, "Jah bear my witness. Most High cleanse all sickness. Go and read your scriptures - Go and read your scriptures". Its irony exists that his music, as a whole, has been a musical scripture for millions of people around the world for years and after listening to 'The Scriptures', the response to his urging may prevailingly be amongst his fans: 'We just did'. Well done.

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Read comments (2)


Posted by mrQuick on 06.16.2011
No need for him to release 6 albums a year. Better concentrate on a badass record with no filler, just killer, tunes. Quality over quantity.

Posted by Bhingi on 07.20.2011
"Ah beer superstar come from Jamaica" .... are you sure that shouldn't be "Ah PURE superstar come from Jamaica", and not "Ah BEER superstar....."?

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