Ghetto Revolution

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Despite the radical political flavor of this album's title and the typically slamming roots and dancehall grooves courtesy of Sly Dunbar and producer Philip "Fatis" Burrell, listen carefully to Ghetto Revolution and you'll hear something new. Whereas in the past Sizzla has mainly been content to call down fiery destruction on Babylon, the Pope, homosexuals, and women who are less than wholly devout, here he seems to have softened somewhat. Make no mistake, Sizzla's worldview hasn't lost any of its sharp spiritual edge, but he sounds a bit more forgiving than in the past, offering comfort to those who are suffering ("Jah Will Be There") and inviting -- rather than commanding -- all to share in God's love. The key to this gentler manifestation of Sizzla's usually hard-nosed righteousness lies, one suspects, in the surprising preponderance of romantic material on this album. Could it be that Sizzla's in love? "Have You," and the R&B-flavored "Just Fine," certainly offer broad hints that such is the case, and on "I Want You" he actually flirts with slackness ("Girl I want to push on you with this thing protruding"?) Bobo, please! The resulting mix of themes and attitudes offers a nice break from the unrelenting "fire bun" rhetoric that has been Sizzla's stock-in-trade in the past, and makes this album a good introduction for those unfamiliar with this important artist.

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