Alborosie – Escape From Babylon (2009)

Alborosie - Escape From Babylon (2009)

As we have written elsewhere, we love the classic cartoon-style reggae album covers…….and this has it in spades. The artwork was done by Tony McDermott – who was famous for creating most of the famous cartoon Greensleeves album sleeves (like the Scientist albums) in the 1980s.

Alborosie is an interesting character and has only been on the dancehall scene for a few of years, but basically, he’s a white Italian from Sicily who has grown huge dreads and taken up residence in Kingston Jamaica and has made quite a stir on the music scene.

Fortunately for Alborosie, he’s hugely talented so somehow manages to pull it off. The cover shows a cartoon Alborosie leading a chain of people through a wrecked and dirty city, acting as a modern day ‘Pied Piper’ type of character, leading his people ‘out of babylon’ (and probably not back to Sicily) – except that he’s a white Italian with dreads.

The album is actually very good indeed, full of heavy bass-lines, and intelligent and witty singjay lyrics. Definitely one of the best reggae releases of 2009 – as well as being one of the best dancehall album covers for 2009.

Track Listing:

  • 1. America
  • 2. No Cocaine
  • 3. Mama She Don’t Like You (Ft. I-Eye)
  • 4. Global War
  • 5. Money
  • 6. Irusalem
  • 7. I Can’t Stand It (Ft. Dennis Brown)
  • 8. Real Story
  • 9. Good Woman
  • 10. Dung A Babylon
  • 11. One Sound (Ft. Gramps Morgan)
  • 12. Humbleness
  • 13. Promise Land
  • 14. Mr. President
  • 15. Operation Uppsala
  • 16. Likkle Africa

Buy It
MP3s:

CDs:

Listen To It

Listen to I Rusalem by Alborosie:

Listen to ‘Can’t stand it (feat. Dennis Brown)’ by Alborosie:

Sizzla – Ghetto Youthology [2009]

Sizzla - Ghetto Youth-Ology

Sizza is a notoriously prolific dancehall artist, even by Jamaican standards, and he seems to come out with a couple of albums a year at the very least. Unsurprisingly his output can often be hit and miss (sometimes even terrible) – as can his album artwork, so it’s great to see a return to form for Sizzla like this.

It’s also great to see a modern dancehall album not obsessed with a moody, vanity shot of the artist. This cartoon of Sizzla entertaining and educating the Ghetto Youths is a tribute to some of the fantastic cartoon album covers from Tony McDermott, that were commonplace in the early 1980s (such as the series of dub albums by ‘Scientist’).

This album is full of roots and conscious reggae all performed in Sizzla’s classic sing-jay and chanting style (this is not the rushed, gruff ‘dancehall-by-numbers’ like some of his previous efforts have been)

Tracklisting

  • Jah Love
  • Ghetto Utes Dem Ah Suffer
  • Stop It Right Now
  • Gwaan Bear
  • Hey Youths (Respect)
  • Black Man In The White House
  • Future Is Yours
  • Premeditate
  • I`m Loving You
  • Open Up The Doors
  • What Am I To Do Baby
  • I Love You So
  • Tax Payers Money
  • Qualities In Life
  • Babylon Ease Off

Buy It

The album is worth picking up to hear Sizzla’s return to form. It’s available at pretty cheap prices online.

Sizzla – Ghetto Youth-Ology on CD

Sizzla – Ghetto Youth-Ology on MP3

Listen To It

Listen to ‘Stop it Right Now” by Sizzla

Listen to ‘Premeditate’ by Sizzla:

Sammy Dread – Roadblock

Sammy Dread - Roadblock

Sammy Dread - Roadblock

Sammy Dread came in strong with some striking album artwork for his 1982 rootsy dancehall release titled ‘Roadblock’.

The art and sleeve design was created by Jamaal Pete, another prolific album arrtist whose work was often signified by his dense and colourful paintings, as can be seen here.

This has got all the signs of rasta rebellion rendered in an awesome hand-drawn cartoon showing Sammy Dread smashing through an army roadblock barrier on a motorbike with Selassie drawn on the petrol tank, spliff in hand, with dreads flying in the wind. Brilliant.

The album is worth picking up too, full of bass-heavy and laid back early rootsy dancehall vocals – The title track was a massive dancehall hit.

Track Listing:

  1. Road Block
  2. Dreadlocks Queen
  3. So Long
  4. Jenny
  5. In A Mans Heart
  6. Today
  7. Jah Guide
  8. Time To Spread
  9. Bad Company
  10. Come Back Darling
  11. Rude Boy A Fire M 16

Listen To It
 
 

Listen to “Roadblock” by Sammy Dread:

Listen to “In a Man’s Heart” by Sammy Dread:

Buy It
 
 

The good news is that you can still get the full ‘Roadblock’ album by Sammy Dread as a download: