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World Music CD Reviews Reggae & Caribbean

Junior Kelly, Bounty Killer & Capleton

By Judson Kilpatrick
Published December 12, 2006

The Good, The Bad & The Blazing
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Dancehall’s been appropriating spaghetti Western iconography for years, from pioneers like Josey Wales and Clint Eastwood to the early-’90s multi-DJ project The Good, The Bad, The Ugly & The Crazy (i.e. Super Cat, Nicodemus, Junior Demus and Junior Cat). This update of that concept album features a smaller but stronger lineup, each taking the lead on four songs (the former album included several posse cuts). Junior Kelly is better than “good” as he kicks off the album with the anthemic “Jah Jah’s People,” lists the joys of romance on “All I Do” and pours out his heart on “Don’t Play With My Love.” The “bad” Bounty Killer handles himself well, roughing up tracks that range from the roots-style rhythm of “West Indies” to the punchy dancehall of “Straight A Remix” to the furious drum ’n’ bass of “Hey Yo Yallo.” All of Capleton’s cuts are “blazing,” especially the inspirational classic “Get Up” and his gripping message song “Hear The Children.” By alternating three vocalists while veteran session players provide a consistent vibe, this collection avoids the tedium of a single-artist album.