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Sizzla’s second album in one month

Sizzla is back with his second album in just one month. February saw the release of the Caveman produced set The Chant, and now it’s time for Sizzla in Gambia, mostly recorded in the African country during a visit in 2008, with post-production in Jamaica by DJ Karim of Stainless Music.

Since 2009 Sizzla has dropped five albums. Three of these – Crucial Times, The Chant and Ghetto Youth-Ology – have been produced by people said to have worked the deejay since the beginning, and marketed with a back to the roots type of campaign.

And Sizzla in Gambia differs from these sets – not only by its more contemporary producer – by being more dancehall-driven, even though hip-hop influences are also apparent. There’s only one straight one drop – the previously released Blackman Rise. The other eleven songs are previously unreleased.

Sizzla in Gambia is far from solid, but contains a healthy dose of catchy melodies and conscious and spiritual lyrics.

The uplifting, yet frenetic, African chant Welcome to Africa opens the album and is later followed by the acoustic, yet furious, Make a Visit, which hits you like a punk rock song, while Where’s the Love is almost Barry White-like in its tone and mood.

It’s been a while since Sizzla dropped a real gem, but this album is together with last year’s The Scriptures his most cohesive set in years.

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Yet another decent album from Sizzla

I get the feeling that several Sizzla albums in recent years have been marketed with slogans like ”going back to the roots”. The man must be a veritable tree by now.

Anyhow, the latest album where he travels back to the roots is made together with sound system man and producer Caveman, who Sizzla met while still in his teens. He used to visit Caveman’s sound system after school, deejay and listen to his voice.

Soon he met up with Homer Harris – who produced Crucial Times two years ago – and later on Bobby Digital and Phillip Burrell, two producers responsible for Sizzla’s best material yet.

The Chant holds thirteen tunes and blends one drops with dancehall, winding synth loops and hip-hop sounding beats accompanied by Sizzla’s high pitched singing and hardcore deejaying. And I have to confess I didn’t like this album at all the first five times I listened to it. But after a while it sank in. Or most of the tracks at least.

Reality tunes dominate the set and Sizzla voices his dreams of peace, hopes of a marijuana legalization, anger with injustices in the world and frustration over the people’s struggle in Zimbabwe.

The Chant is yet another decent and competent effort, but far from the albums he made in the 90’s.

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