Sizzla Still Sizzles!
By Gerry McMahon
It’s hard to keep a good man down. And when it comes to music, Rastaman Sizzla sure is a good man, in terms of its vast quantity and high quality. Yet again, he delivers a classic album with ‘Million Times’, that is sure to go down a treat with the masses. This release effectively embraces a multitude of styles, with tip-top production, enabling the artist’s versatile voice to dip and soar in homage to the females.
Reversing from revolutionary themes, the artist returns his attention here to the all-important matters of romance, love, and sex. Despite his sometimes-controversial character – via an association with homophobia, sexism, and a suspect political regime in Zimbabwe – his chart success is hard to argue with. And on this ‘Million Times’ album, his ability to seduce the ladies through music cannot be argued with!
The album opens with the two-step ‘RnB’ style ‘Feelings’ track, setting the scene for some sensitive subjects, as neat vocal interplays serve to confirm the depth of the artist’s loving disposition. This track fades away to make room for some more ‘RnB’ cum Afro-beats on ‘Lady Lady’, whom Sizzla assures us is going to be ‘my lady every day’. Then some sweet ivory tinkling sets in, as the artist declares his love for the millionth time on ‘Million Times’. This album title track again allows Sizzla to deploy his extensive vocal range in a hip-hop style, declaring to the object of his devotions that ‘I love you, I love you’ a million times! Next up, the Afro-Dancehall mode on ‘Don’t Stop’ sees the artist hit the high and the low notes, interspersed with some rap style delivery, as a delightfully delicate percussive sound creates just the right effect to convey the tune’s lovemaking theme. Thereafter ‘Nah Go Happy’, in a hip-hop RnB style, offers more vocal variety, set against an orchestral type backdrop, as Sizzla endeavors to assure the object of his love that‘you are my girl from day one’. This is followed by ‘Phone Ring’ as – via varied vocal styles and a strong rhythm – he forewarns the ‘sexy girl’ that ‘we’re gonna make love … spread your legs girl moaning and groaning’ on a track that’s likely to flop with the politically correct whilst soaring in the dancehall.
Delicate and sweet kora or harp-type strains then serve as a lovely counterpoint to Sizzla’s regularly raucous-style deliveries, as the romantic theme persists on ‘Lasting Effect’, amid declarations that ‘you’re forever my girl’ and ‘your love is simply the best’. This Afro-RnB type track is followed by a livelier traditional rock and roll style cut, with some sweet (electric and acoustic) guitar playing to the fore. ‘With Out You’ sees the artist acknowledging the prospect of mental instability, as he doesn’t ‘know what I would do without you’. Then ‘Girlfriend’ serves up a neat and nice soft-string musical backdrop to Sizzla’s pacier and penetrating vocal delivery, as his ‘arms are open’ in pursuit of romance. Indeed, with all this romance and loving in evidence, one might well inquire as to his (multi-instrumental Afrobeat-driven) ‘Motivation’, as the next track is aptly titled. Whilst Sizzla assures us that his motives are pure, the nature of the delivery suggests that physical passion is not far from the surface. The album’s penultimate multi-genre track ‘Love For Money’, featuring G-Mac, enables a delightful duet as the contrasting styles of vocal delivery heighten the effect. Doubtless, to the disappointment of Sizzla fans, the album has to close sometime, as it does with the AfroDancehall type ‘Out of All’ track. As one might guess, this closing track sees the artist confirm – with some impressive falsetto – that ‘girl, you are my number 1’.
Such must be the huge physical and mental demands of so much romancing, loving and sex – as recounted on this album – that some may well worry about Sizzla’s capacity to avoid distraction or another motorbike accident! Anyway, the good news for Sizzla’s female fans is that the music isn’t suffering in the face of such exertions. Nor is it diluted or downbeaten by any virus, as it surely aspires – via another impressive Billboard ranking – to Grammy-nomination status. Good for you Sizzla.