Words of Truth

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The fourth album by stridently conscious dancehall DJ Sizzla, Words of Truth reveals a lot about his performance style. Since the album is packaged with a bonus CD of a live show at Brixton Academy in the U.K., listeners can compare the recording with his live show, and it's not a completely flattering comparison. The first CD shows how Sizzla's overzealous delivery mars most of the tunes. Except for the slamming riddim on "Attack" and the hip-winding melody of "Love Ah Di Way," the tunes are mediocre at best, overshadowed by the performer's hard, rushed vocals and preachy lyrics. The second disc benefits greatly from melodic backup singers, live instrumentation, and a more measured delivery by Sizzla. From the languid rhythm of "Dem Ah Wonder" to the inspiring nyabingi drumming on "Make Dem Secure," this is a far more enjoyable CD. Words of Truth would be a lot stronger if the first CD contained the same level of enjoyment.

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