Sizzla

Royal Son of Ethiopia

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AllMusic Review by

Comprised of lessons and prayers dedicated to Jah Rastafari, Royal Son of Ethiopia is indeed a religious reggae album. Inspirational vigor is provided throughout the album by Sizzla as the Jamaican singjay uses the will of a Bobo and a slippery tongue to both overcome Babylon and regain Zion at the same metaphoric moment. The opening track As in the Beginning is absolutely colossal as Sizzla declares his identity, and the identity of every righteous black man, as that of "the royal son of King David". On Eastern Mountain he goes on to pledge his allegiance to repatriation, later expounding upon the concept with Babylon Homework by illustrating that even if a physical return to Ethiopia is infeasible, a spiritual return might also deliver redemption. Never shy in his disapproval of injustice, Sizzla brings the heat in hordes on tracks including Ripe Leaf and Oh Children, but ultimately assures that "I and I love no slackness, that a pagan desire". With roots rhythms provided by Fattis Burrell and the Xterminator crew, the sonic landscape of the album subtly varies from that of a dub chamber to that of a digital dancehall to that of an outdoor church. Luciano makes a harmonious appearance on In This Time, joining Sizzla in his declaration that "Emperor Selassie I is the protection, the only foundation". While a bit top-heavy due to the strength of its opening tracks, Royal Son of Ethiopia ranks right up there with the best of Sizzla's work.

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