February 26, 2002

Album Review

After rejecting the "slack" (i.e., sexually explicit) lyrics that typified his early work, singjay Capleton embraced Rastafarianism with increasing fervor in the 1990s, culminating in his embrace of the Bobo Ashanti branch of the faith. Its doctrinal and symbolic themes have come to dominate his work, both for better and for worse. On this album, there's no denying the continuing power of his delivery or of the rhythms generated for him by the production team of Clifton Bailey and Joel & Christopher Chin; those rhythms vary nicely between modern but rootsy grooves and more dancehall-oriented and computer-generated backing. Highlights include the strange and minimalist "Caan Tan Yah" and the interesting arrangement on "In Your Eyes." But the less palatable aspects of Capleton's Bobo beliefs are on (plain) display as well -- the bizarre veneration of Idi Amin, the paleosexism ("Pure Woman"), the murderous hatred of homosexuals ("Punchline 2 Hit"). Most of the lyrics will be incomprehensible to anyone from parts north of Kingston, but all too often those words that are distinguishable to the average Babylonian carry with them a distinct whiff of sectarian hatred. That's too bad; Capleton has shown himself capable of nobler sentiments.
Rick Anderson, Rovi

Track Listing

  1. Search Fi a Find
  2. Behold
  3. Mashing Up the Earth
  4. I Will Survive
  5. Whoa "New Way"
  6. Punchline 2 Hit
  7. Caan Tan Yah
  8. Hail King Selassie
  9. Cooyah Cooyah
  10. Pure Woman
  11. Boom Sound
  12. How It Ago
  13. Guerilla Warfare
  14. Red, Red, Red
  15. In Your Eyes
  16. Mi Deh Yah
  17. Jah Is Gonna Work It Out
  18. I & I and I Chant
  19. [Untitled Hidden Track]
purchase full album