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Richie Spice In the Streets to Africa

On only his fourth proper artist album, Jamaica's Richie Spice (né Richell Bonner) has done the improbable: He delivers a roots album that avoids sermonizing and encapsulates modern reggae flawlessly. It seemed audacious when VP signed the relatively obscure singer to a multi-album deal last year, but Spice succeeds, following up Spice in Your Life with an equally heartical recording. Guests like the late Joseph Hill of Culture, and Spice's musical siblings Pliers and Spanner Banner, offer solid accompaniment, while producers Clive Hunt, Donovan Bennett, and Bobby Konders provide rock-solid riddims. It's a bona fide reggae masterpiece.

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