Sunday, April 26, 2009

The Best of The Should Have Been King

Do you remember when Turbulence was good? As the days past it seems more and more likely that the ENORMOUSLY talented 'second coming of Sizzla Kalonji' that he was when he arrived on the scene in 2000-2001 will never return. From so many years now it seems as if the edgy and REVOLUTIONARY Turbulence has left the scene in favour of an artist who routinely makes hellaciously average Roots tunes alongside the occasional lover's hit. But there sure were great days and we can remember can't we? Thus, I submit for your approval, the best of the should be king. The 5 best albums of Turbulence, 'The Future'.

#5. Nah Sell Out [aka Born For This] - JetStar/2006

The most recent album you’ll find on this list, Nah Sell Out comes as very much an underappreciated ‘sleeper’ of an album. If you have been sleeping on it, I can’t say that I blame you exactly because, after all, it does come from that rubbish bin of a label in Charm/JetStar which was notorious for placing out pirated garbage. So it may also stand as the last good thing that they did as well. The album itself was edgy but very much ‘keyed’ in an older school type of record from Turbulence. Think of it as what the Notorious album should have been, only fitting as Nah Sell Out, the song, was billed as Notorious Pt. 2.

#4. The Future - JetStar/2003

Released in what would prove to be a big year for Turbulence (as he released four albums in full, three of which appear on this list), The Future, in retrospect, has stood up VERY well to the test of time. With damn near FLAWLESS production coming from Digital Ancient and the Lustre Kings Productions camp, The Future featured big tunes throughout it’s fifteen in full such as Music Is Life, Revolution Pon Di Wicked and the album’s finest moment, the MASSIVE We Need Liberation. All of which still remain quite crucial and some of Turbulence’s best work to date altogether.

#3. Hail To The King - VP Records/2003

This was the big and high profile release in a year which featured so many different versions of Turbulence, all of which saw him working on different things and TANGIBLY developing his skills. Hail To The King featured the singer going all across the board in its STUFFED sixteen tracks for home base Xterminator producer, the legendary Phillip ‘Fattis’ Burrell. This one was typical Xterminator material with old school tinged works of art alongside LUSH anthem-like productions. That with an intro which is absolutely TIMELESS has helped Hail To The King rise near the top of this list, despite more than one or two obvious missteps.

#2. Join Us - Bogalusa Records/2003

From a purely TECHNICAL aspect, Join Us probably doesn’t belong anywhere near this list (and in the place of it’s absence, I’d probably replace it with Turbulence’s self titled debut) but from a purely IMPACT aspect, it may belong at the top of it for me, personally. Join Us is an album which has stuck with me so deep since the very first time that I heard it that I continue to find myself spinning through it quite frequently, more than a half decade after it’s release. The strange thing here is, however, from what I’ve seen and heard, most people don’t hold it in such high esteem. BUT I have ‘converted’ more than one unsuspecting listener to realizing it’s DOMINANCE and if you REALLY dig into Join Us, you’ll join us: The few who recognize that this album, produced by then up and coming but future MASTER Kemar McGregor, was damn near perfect.

#1. Rising - VP Records/2001

A CLASSIC! In retrospect, as much as I LOVE Join Us and fully expected to crown it as the king of this list, a bit of a different category has to be allotted to Rising. This album essentially introduced young Turbulence to an international audience (myself included at the time) and with it, an artist who could obviously string together winning tunes at such a high quality that he, even at that point, had so many, including your’s truly, labeling him the next Sizzla Kalonji. From Give Her Weh She Want, Make Sure She Clean, Friends Like These, Mamma Is Here and the DIVINE Love Can Make A Difference, Rising was a master class in just Turbulence’s second album. It was also and remains the best album he has ever done. Period.

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