Sizzla is better than 876

disc-3284-sizzla-876It feels like every new album from Jamaican chanter Sizzla is marketed as a landmark set or a new masterpiece. But I’m often disappointed, very disappointed. There are however a few exceptions in his more recent output. Born a King was in fact a masterpiece and The Scriptures was very solid. But many other sets sound rushed and non-cohesive.

And the latest album from Sizzla is in fact not one of his better ones. 876 – which is the area code for Jamaica – was recorded together with producers Vychalle “Kid” Singh, Jason “J-Vibe” Farmer and “Bobby Digital” Dixon.

It was slated for release already last year, but was postponed until 2016. It carries 13 tracks, including several devoted love songs, and Sizzla unfortunately rather sings than deejays. His singing style – especially his falsetto – is an acquired taste, and he should stick to fierce and furious deejaying, as showcased on the hard and dub-infused High Grade or Bad Mind, on which he trade verses with the passionate Jah Cure.

There are a few major moments on 876, but too few to make a solid effort. Sizzla can do better than this.

9 Comments

Filed under Record reviews

9 responses to “Sizzla is better than 876

  1. Pingback: Anticipated reggae albums in 2016 | Reggaemani

  2. Rob

    Always nice to read critical reviews in reggae. All too often people are afraid to say a release stinks. I agree with you.. Should have released a couple singles , not an album

  3. Accurate review in my opinion. High Grade and Bad Mind were actually my two favorite tracks on the album. I will always compare every release of his to “The Real Thing” which is the album that made me fall in love with his music. Reckon his relevancy has faded?

    • I believe Sizzla has faded for the past ten years or so, but here and there he drops the occasional killer, like Born a King. I think he needs to be more focused on quality, but that goes for many artists at the moment. Too many generic riddims with poor production and lack of professional mastering.

      • rob

        what I can’t figure out is the financial incentive to release so many albums? On some level do they realize the productions are sub-par? Do artists have any pride?

      • Agreed. But I think a number of the generation of singers from Jamaica have a different approach. Protoje, Chronixx, Jesse Royal, Jah9 and many more seem to focus on quality rather than quantity, both in terms of singles/one riddim cuts and albums. Chronixx hasn’t even dropped a formal full-lenght album yet.

      • rob

        Yes, I agree…sorry I was alluding to artists such as Sizzla and sadly, sometimes Luciano, who tend to water down their standards by releasing sub-par material.

      • I sometimes wonder if the artists themselves truly believe they are releasing quality music? Or are they complacent and happy with good enough “fillers”. This doesn’t only go for Sizzla, although he is notorious for releasing inexplicable amounts of music.

      • Good question. I know a few producers – mainly European – has been critical about the lack of quality control in many new productions, but I don’t know how the artists view it.

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