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World Music CD Reviews Africa

Richie Spice

By Matt Scheiner
Published August 21, 2008

Gideon Boot
VP Records

Richie Spice’s fourth studio album, a valiant successor to 2007’s In The Streets To Africa, is rife with engaging lyrics, nicely crafted songs and a lighter, more spiritual tone. Using a modern roots foundation, Spice delivers his smooth vocals with a ruminating softness, balancing his unique trills between crisp drums and tight rhythms, many of which are new and unfamiliar. The album opens with “Babylon Falling,” a light tune complete with horns and Niyabinghi drumming, but it quickly gives way to the title track, destined to become a hit with its old-school reggae sound and powerful backing vocals. Although Spice would do well to lay off his trademarked “nah nah nah” chants, which get repetitive and irritating, this 14-track set is a consistent, well-constructed modern roots album with a fresh and welcoming sound. It also introduces some great new songs into the Spice repertoire, including “Wrap Up A Draw,” “Bad Lamp” and the uplifting “Hang On.”