Recording information: Anchor Studio; Bobby Digital Studio; Kingston 6 Studio; Sizzla Studio.
Is Sizzla human? That question, rhetorical or not, begs to be asked when someone (or thing) releases three, sometimes four albums a year. Are there two of him? Is there a Sizzla-bot running loose in the world, singjaying tirelessly while his flesh-and-blood counterpart lounges on the beach? Unlikely. It's best, for sanity's sake, just to accept that Sizzla is indeed that prolific. Inevitably, he sometimes suffers from a lack of consistency from release to release, but Speak of Jah, his second release of 2004, manages to be more of a peak than a valley. It's a rootsy set overall, with a few dancehall cuts, the classic slackness of "The Girls Dem," and the more modern Jamaican bump of "Couldn't Come Among Us" thrown in for good measure. Sizzla also likes to sneak in a sensitive acoustic song occasionally, and the title cut here turns out to be one of his best since 2000's "Happy to Love." It isn't without weak moments and his gruff voice sounds particularly out of place among the slick, sugary background vocals on "Give Thanks to Jah," but it's a minor flaw in an otherwise excellent reggae set. ~ Wade Kergan