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Various Artists Zero Tolerance Review

Compilation. Released 28 February 2005.  

BBC Review

Zero Tolerance is the latest collection of songs featuring one singular rhythm track,...

Keysha Davis 2002

Zero Tolerance is the latest collection of songs featuring one singular rhythm track, with a total of 20 artists all delivering their own unique interpretations. The album provides the perfect forum for established artists to go head-to-head with their peers, and also serves as a great training ground for the younger guns to flex their lyrical skills by partaking on the same arena as the big boys.

The rhythm track in question comes complete with a classical music intro, and then delves into a drum machine driven melody. A carefully selected line-up ensures a hybrid of sounds that range from the socially conscious and comedic to the hyper sexed, and vocally aggressive. First off on the mark is an artist that at some point has encapsulated all of the above - Capleton, with a track entitled "Push Wood". In what appears to be quite a tepid contribution from the self-proclaimed Fireman, we are invited to play privy to his superior lovemaking skills and physical prowess.

True fans may be slightly disappointed due to the stellar performances usually associated with this artist, but there are plenty of worthwhile substitutes including sound-alike Kulcha Knox. Knox embellishes on the continual theme of police brutality in the simply titled "Police". Urging the nation to uprise and thwart the establishment, the passion inherent is signified by the verbal lashings and violent sentiments echoed throughout the track. In a similar vein Sizzla's "Empty The Clip" attacks the government for social injustice (particularly the uneven distribution of wealth), and deeply seeped corruption. Assuming the role of lyrical maverick, Sizzla runs rife by threatening to eradicate the guilty parties through rapid gunfire hence the track-title.

Vocal assassinations aside, the comic relief comes courtesy of Lexxus with a track entitled "Lord Mi Body". Exposing a female victim of having delusions of grandeur, Lexxus hilariously breaks down all the lies and seems particularly miffed about said female's greatest untruth - pretending to have a top-notch body (shock, horror)! "&Talk bout she tight and her body set right, but her belly well flabby flabby". For further humour listen to Merciless & Pickney's "Mi nah Tek Nuh Talk", and Merciless' "Come Here". Natural Black and Singer J hold it down on the vocal tip with "Young Black & Beautiful", and "Princess For Life" respectively.

Having such a multitude of songs on one rhythm track makes it virtually impossible to prevent the inevitable task of fast forwarding. So in all frankness there are a few which pails into insignificance leaving the obvious choices to shine. However, to maintain the interest of a listener on this particular format is a challenge within itself that the album manages to achieve.

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