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Lyrically Potent

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Album Review

As one of the few female reggae DJs who have been able to build a solid career without resorting to pop pandering or sexpot posturing, Sister Carol has always been an inspiration. And amazingly, she just keeps moving from strength to strength; each of her releases has been better than the last, and it's hard to imagine how she'll top this one. She's always been more of a sing-jay than a straight toaster, and she's always put as much emphasis on the groove as on her strict but joyous religious messages. Thus the plainly didactic cooking lesson of "Strong and Fit" is still sure to nice up any dance at which it's played, and even ho-hum pronouncements like "No matter how hard they try, they cannot stop reggae" are made compelling by the sheer exuberance of her delivery. Stylistically, she's an innovator (note the dancehall/rocksteady hybrid riddim in effect on "Dread Natty Congo"), but she's also comfortable working in a classic dancehall DJ tradition on cuts like "Red Eye" and "Strong and Fit." Sugar Minott stops in to pay his respects, and there's even a touch of version for dubhounds. Is it a perfect reggae album? Maybe so.


Born: 1959 in Kingston, Jamaica

Genre: Reggae

Years Active: '90s, '00s

One of the dancehall era's few successful female DJs, Sister Carol was something like reggae's answer to Queen Latifah: a strong, positive feminist voice who was inspired by her faith and never resorted to sexual posturing to win an audience. Leaning heavily on socially conscious material, Sister Carol delivered uplifting and cautionary messages drawn from her Rastafarian principles, while always urging respect for women. She was more of a singjay than a full-time toaster, capable of melodic vocals...
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Lyrically Potent, Sister Carol
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