The string of excellent roots music being released
from St. Croix continues with the emergence of Armys newest album "Struggler". Produced by Abdul Williams and released on the DubRise Records label,
contains 14 crucial selections of consciousness sung over the bubbly one-drop riddims that
are so prevalent in Cruzian music.
The album opens with "More Dem Talkn", a
combination with Shaka Black, followed by my favorite selection "Overtime", which had previously
been released as a 7" single. Other stand-out selections include "Paradise", "Ghetto Life", "Love and Righteousness" and the
title track. Most of the mixing of "Struggler" was done by Dean Pond, with Batch
and Ron Benjamin each contributing on one of the selections.
The voice of Army first surfaced several years ago on the vital (though difficult to
obtain) compilation Eastbound. The following year saw the release of Armys debut album "Yesterdays News", which was
recently remastered and re-released by DubRise Records. He also contributed numerous songs to "Homegrown" release by Glamorous
Records in 2000.
In the early 70s, Jamaica was budding with
an incredible amount of untapped musical and vocal talents. That same level of energy,
enthusiasm and potential is present today in the Virgin Island of St. Croix. To date, the
global community has primarily been exposed to this fiery caldron through the roots music
But there is a slew of talented conscious singers and players of instruments from
STX that are worthy of international recognition, and Army is certainly one such artist. And Armys talents will be on full display at the 23rd annual Bob Marley Day
Celebration taking place in San Diego on February 16, 2004.