Coming from a family of reggae artists, Richie Spice has often been overshadowed by his brothers DJ Snatcher Dogg, vocalist Spanner Banner, and producer Pliers of Chaka Demus & Pliers. In 2001, Spice released Universal, a collection of his hits combined with new recordings from Everton Blender's Blend Dem production company. While his brothers' music tends to have a smoother tone, Spice has a much more incendiary, confrontational style. His anthemic "Fire" is guaranteed to set off any crowd. Spice's speciality is straight-ahead dancehall, but he also mixes in some roots on the socially conscious "Earth a Run Red" and some R&B on "Hold Me," and even throws in a lovers track with "Grooving My Girl." On Universal, Spice clearly demonstrates that he has enough versatility and talent to succeed on his own.
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AllMusic Review by Jon Azpiri