Tony Rebel

Realms of Rebel

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Tony Rebel got his start with the prestigious dancehall label Penthouse before cutting one album for RAS (Rebellious) and then jumping to Sony, where he enjoyed a string of minor successes (including contributions to the Cool Runnings soundtrack). Returning to RAS, Rebel delivers an album that capitalizes on his strengths without breaking any really new ground. The only exception might be his Spanish-language version of "Jah By My Side" (rendered here as "Si Jah Esta a Lado de Me"), which ventures into mambo territory. But for the most part he's in his customary roots-wise singjay groove, shifting easily from conscious chatting ("Perilous Times," "A So We Like It") to devotional singing ("Queen Divine"), and frequently walking the line between the two ("Rasta Right Again," "One Love"). Mafia & Fluxy's rhythms provide just the right balance between old-fashioned solidity and up-to-the-minute computer flavors. Recommended.

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