Various Artists

Riddim Driven: Engine 54 & Humanity

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Riddim albums are strange beats. Even if you love the original riddim itself, that doesn't mean you're going to like all the cuts sprung off it. In fact, at some point it can become an exercise in tedium, which this one does when it turns to recycling both Gary Puckett & the Union Gap's hit "Young Girl" and Fats Domino's "Blue Berry Hill" over the same piece. Ingenious -- yes. Worthwhile -- probably not. However, when you have the wonderful Freddie McGregor voicing the original "Humanity" rhythm, it's hard to resist, as is his take on the "Engine 54" rhythm "Uncle Sam." JD Smooth's "Stranger in My House" is silk to the ears, and Fiona's "Want to Make Love" is also something of a joy. However, while the idea of finishing the disc with a "Love Engine 54 Mega Mix" from King Waggy Tee probably sounded like a good idea, the end result rapidly becomes boring. So while it's interesting to hear how much can be done with a single rhythm, to hear it all at once is simply overkill.

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