Five Disciples

The Five Disciples, Pt. 3

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The third installment in the Penitentiary label's Five Disciples series brings together again the five leading exponents of the "conscious" school of dancehall reggae: singer Luciano, DJs Capleton and Anthony B., and singjays Sizzla and Junior Kelly. As he usually does in situations like this, Luciano rules the program; his voice is just so much richer than those of his competitors, and his vocal dexterity so much more complete, that he almost always stands head and shoulders above the competition. He does that in this case by singing gorgeous songs of uplift like "Onward Forward" and "Tell Me Way," and by wringing every ounce of emotion and spiritual fervor out of a dancehall adaptation of the nyahbinghi anthem "Babylon." Junior Kelly acquits himself beautifully as well, however, on the R&B-flavored "So Good" and the heavy one-drop groove of "Down." Capleton is his usual fire-and-brimstone self, and therefore gets a bit tiring, but he stands out on a declamatory rockers outing titled "Chant Me Soon"; Anthony B. chats beautifully on the catchy "Not an Easy Road." The only real disappointment on this album is Sizzla, who sounds off his game on the badly sung "Beautiful" and redeems himself only partially on the more enjoyable "Blessing for You." Recommended overall.

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