Desmond Dekker unleashed a flood of fine singles across the '60s and early '70s, all under the aegis of producer Leslie Kong. Taking a chance on an untried youngster barely into his teens, who'd already been shown the door by Coxsone Dodd and Duke Reid, Kong nurtured Dekker to international stardom, only to die suddenly in 1971, two years after the singer's breakthrough. In those nine years, however, the singer and producer recorded a canon of music that remains untarnished by time, a vast catalog that continues to enrapture new generations of fans. Inevitably with time, lazy labels tended to pick from an ever-shrinking pot of songs, making for a growing pile of bewildering compilations that all seemed to feature many of the same numbers -- which is what made Intensified such a treat. Light on the hits, lighter still on the heavily represented songs, this compilation hones in chiefly on the rocksteady and early reggae age, making it a must for all Dekker fans. Along the way, your "Problems" will melt away, bouncing off the irrepressible reggae rhythms and the Aces' bounding harmonies. It may be "Too Much Too Soon" for those looking for yet another hits comp, but with bubbly numbers like this, reggae aficionados will be in heaven. Rocksteady fans, meanwhile, will be boarding the "Rude Boy Train," while those looking for the path to salvation can read the "Writing on the Wall." The emotive "My Lonely World," the lovely, lilting repatriation number "Pretty Africa," and the jubilant title track are all classics, amidst an entire album of less familiar numbers that are all their equals. A wonderful set. .
AllMusic Review by Jo-Ann Greene