Title
Artist
Label
Format
Date

Real Reggae Music
Richie Stephens
Kingstone / Pot Of Gold
CD / Digital Release
September 27, 2013

Track list
  1. Real Reggae Music feat. Daddy U Roy
  2. Murdah
  3. Tougher Than Before
  4. Knock Knock Knock
  5. Set It Off
  6. World Gone Mad feat. Gentleman & Alborosie
  7. No Woman Nuh Cry
  8. He's Blocking Me
  9. Loving You Means Everything
  10. Where Are You
  11. Rescue Me
  12. True Believer In Love feat. Richie Campbell
  13. I Found Heaven
  14. Let Jah Will Be Done
Rating : from 5 (excellent) to 1 (poor)
Vocals : 5 Backing : 4/5 Production : 5 Sound quality : 5 Sleeve : 4/5
Grammy Award winning Richard Anthony Stephenson, better known as Richie Stephens (born December 5, 1966, in Savanna-la-Mar, Westmoreland, Jamaica), recorded his very first song in 1984, but it was not until the 1990s that he became a household name in reggae music. After having released five albums including "Broadway"(1990), "Richie Stephens" and "Sincerely" (1991), "Pot Of Gold" (Motown 1993), "Forever" (1993) and "Miracles" (1995), it was the Greensleeves label that put out his sixth album, "The Winner", in 1998. The album contained some of his biggest dancehall oriented hits including "Winner", "Slop Dem", "Bus The Place", and "Impy Skimpy", and brought him to a wider audience. In 2012 he drew notable attention with the release of the album "Live Your Life", done in collaboration with German reggae star and longtime friend Gentleman. And now he comes up with his latest offering, a solo album entitled "Real Reggae Music".

An intro in vintage deejay stylee by the originator Daddy U Roy opens this album, but within seconds it's the smooth baritone vocalist who delivers the lyric "Yes these were the nicest times...aha aha... Oh yes these were the nicest times...aha aha... I remember those days when we used to like a way in a rub-a-dub style with the girls from round a way..." over a great swinging version of Studio One's "Swing Easy" riddim. The title track instantly makes clear what the listener can expect, namely well produced authentic reggae music! To achieve this, Richie Stephens has collaborated with some of reggae music's most renowned musicians, artists and producers. And thus this 14-track album comprises songs produced by veteran producers Donovan Germain, Steelie & Clevie, Danny Brownie and collaborations with Bunny "Striker" Lee, who provided original authentic multitrack tapes of tracks produced by himself during the late sixties into the early and late seventies. Furthermore this album features collaborations between Richie Stephens and artists such as Daddy U Roy, Gentleman, Alborosie and Portuguese-born artist Richie Campbell.

Richie Stephens is mainly known for his odes to amore, and this new album includes plenty of them. The very first one to deal with affairs of the heart is the solid "Murdah", which is then followed by entertaining efforts such as "Knock, Knock, Knock", "Set It Off", "He's Blocking Me", and "Loving Means Everything", and "Where Are You". The aforementioned "Murdah" and "Set It Off", but also "Tougher Than Before" and "I Found Heaven" are voiced over original Bunny "Striker" Lee produced riddims which include "Ali Baba" and "My Conversation". It was producer Danny Brownie who transferred these riddim tracks to a digital format and enhanced the sound quality. Also some relicked riddims here as well; Barrington Levy's "Murderer" and Carlton & The Shoes' "Love Me Forever". Mostly he also includes a few covers or renditions on his albums and here he does it again with Bob Marley's "No Woman No Cry" and Delroy Wilson's Studio One classic "True Believer". Especially the latter, a collaboration with Richie Campbell, is worth hearing. However the real standout is "World Gone Mad", the wicked collaboration with European reggae stars Gentleman and Alborosie. Big tune!!!

An exceptional singer, great reggae riddims and first rate production work make this album worthwhile hearing.