If anyone partial to a bit of reggae thinks its dancehall splinter is all hard-edged electro reggae with rapid-fire toasting (spoken-word lyrics that far pre-date rap), think again. More importantly, listen to this. Although that definition may apply to some of dancehall's proponents, Jamaica-born Sizzla (aka Miguel Collins) is one of the few who relishes harmony. Unlike old-fashioned reggae vocalists, dance-hallists are hands-on in production, often spinning discs and twiddling knobs while singing live on the mic.
Although there are contemporary elements in delivery on I-Space, there are also plenty of nods to tradition, none more obvious than Make Me Yours, which could pass as an early Gregory Isaacs song. Such silky vocal renderings are replaced with a gutsier range in Talk About, in which he extols the virtues of Rastafarian values. While Stop All the Violence sounds very Bob Marley, with its rhythm and female backing singers, single Really and Truly actually uses Marley's Natural Mystic as backing track to hypnotic effect. A few other samples are borrowed, but most of the 15 tracks are newly laid down with help from seven top reggae session musicians.
Incredibly, Sizzla has released more than 30 albums in 12 years. Although some have been panned - notably the previous one, where he was said to have sold out with its lightweight offerings - here's hoping he produces much more in this vein.