Thursday, 21 May 2009
Sizzla - Ghetto Youth-Ology
There used to be a time when a new Sizzla album was something to get excited about, especially when it came on Greensleeves Records. That time has now long passed and the same can be said for most of the other so-called "name brand" reggae artists out there right now. This album is a disappointment but I didn't expect much else. Sizzla's output has been deteriating over the past few years, to say the least.
`Ghetto Youth-Ology' kicks off with `Jah Love', the first utterance being fulled by some nasty "auto-tune" which rears its ugly head later in the album. Sizzla is obviously in need of some help in the vocal department because the chorus of `Babylon Ease Off` is so off-scale it would take more than auto-tune to fix his voice which is now long beyond repair. It has been said by some that this off-key warbling is just part of Sizzla's style. Sounds like laziness to me.
The only glimmer of light comes with `Ghetto Utes a Suffer` which is excellent, but that track and a handful of others such as `Gwaan Bear', `Future Is Yours' and `Qualities in Life' were voiced at least 10 years ago and have been dumped on new backing tracks, because the Firehouse Crew, legendary backing musicians and producers of this set have had some of these tracks in the can for sometime now. Another plus point is that the production is tight, with a good range of mostly one drop and roots rhythms.
It has to be said that the single `Black Man In The Whitehouse` is the closest we get to a borderline decent contemporary Sizzla track.
The excellent illustrated sleeve comes from Tony McDermott, who was responsible for the vast majority of artwork on the Greensleeves label for the best part of the last 30, most notably those Scientist LP sleeves back in the early `80's.
Here is a low quality clip of the title track: