The string of excellent roots music being
released from St. Croix continues with the emergence of Armys newest album "Struggler".
Produced by Abdul Williams and released on the DubRise Records label,
Struggler contains 14 crucial selections of consciousness sung over the
bubbly one-drop riddims that are so prevalent in Cruzian music.
The album opens with "More Dem
Talkn", a combination with Shaka Black, followed by my favorite
selection "Overtime", which had previously been released as a 7" single. Other
stand-out selections include "Paradise", "Ghetto Life", "Love and
Righteousness" and the title track. Most of the mixing of "Struggler"
was done by Dean Pond, with Batch and Ron Benjamin
each contributing on one of the selections.
The voice of Army first surfaced
several years ago on the vital (though difficult to obtain) compilation Eastbound.
The following year saw the release of Armys debut album "Yesterdays
News", which was recently remastered and re-released by DubRise Records. He
also contributed numerous songs to "Homegrown" release by Glamorous
Records in 2000.
In the early 70s, Jamaica was budding
with an incredible amount of untapped musical and vocal talents. That same level of energy,
enthusiasm and potential is present today in the Virgin Island of St. Croix. To date, the
global community has primarily been exposed to this fiery caldron through the roots music of
Midnite. But there is a slew of talented conscious singers and
players of instruments from STX that are worthy of international recognition, and Army
is certainly one such artist. And Armys talents will be on full display at
the 23rd annual Bob Marley Day Celebration taking place in San Diego on
February 16, 2004.
If you are aware of any additional reviews of this album, please .