The album opens in true YT style, with a worldly appraisal letting us know we are living in a ‘Serious Time’, over the top of a fresh Mungo’s relick of a classic Studio One riddim. Similarly, Warrior Queen delivers a stellar message on another Studio One reworking, this time Coxsone Dodd’s ‘Run Run’ riddim. Normally found chatting over much darker, bass-heavy tracks, Warrior Queen’s ‘Can’t Stand It’ is one of a handful of standout tunes on this packed LP. It is sure to mash up dancefloors, as I’ve seen it do twice already.
Mungo’s then shift another gear, forwarding a few decades in style, with Pupajim letting us know the values of pedal power in his track ‘Bike Rider’. On an equally catchy digital riddim, Soom T has more chat than a politician in her warnings to those exact characters on ‘31st Century Song’, while also fitting in more lyrics in four minutes than previously ever thought possible.
Another standout again comes from 001 Agent Speng Bond. In the ‘Animal Dance’, he takes us on a humorous journey into the world of a King Kong Hi-Power session run strictly by animals, where parakeets and parrots chat on the mic while hippos and rhinos wine up on each other. Dancehall’s most versioned riddim, Sleng Teng, is used as the classroom for Professor Solo Banton’s masterful teachings in ‘Dancehall School’, as he journeys entertainingly through the big reggae genres and the tried and tested curriculum of the dance.
Mungo’s have such a huge pool of talented artists who feature regularly on their releases. This includes Marina P, known for her popular opening track, ‘Divorce A L’Italienne’, on Mungo’s ‘Sound System Champions’ album. Her new song ‘Slavery’ cuts straight to the contemporary issue of modern day slavery, on a track that sees Mungo’s use their well-crafted dubstep-tip sound.
Another Mungo’s regular, Charlie P, comes through with two tracks, firstly ‘Nice It Up’, again in that familiar Mungo’s dubstep style. Secondly, the talented young Essex chap takes us on a thankful journey through his musical life as a ‘Traveller’. This is followed by another younger singer and Mungo’s regular, Parly B, who warns of Babylon’s badness in ‘Babylon A Come’. Both his and Blackout JA’s ‘Overcome’ provide greatly diverse vocal performances. And once again Mr Williamz has lyrics for days on ‘Thousand Style’.
Diversity seems to be the key to this album. With something for everyone, it is very impressive, both lyrically and production wise. And weight is surely added with the album featuring some real veterans, in Peter Metro, Squiddly Ranks, and Cornel Campbell. The latter, whose track (the fifteenth on this huge album), delivers the final cultural inspiration. ‘Jah Say Love’ caps off a remarkably complete LP.