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Stand Up Firm – Lukie D (Bad 2000 & Maximum Sound)

Whisper it – but Frenchie’s Jamrock Riddim is every bit as good as it’s all dance conquering ancestor. There’s been Anthony B’s monstrous World A Reggae Music, Bounty Killer’s solid Poor People, and now this version by the emotionally fraught sounding Lukie D. Some might call Lukie’s R&B style delivery ‘over-souling’, even touched by the influence of soft rock, but the man has a genuine passion in his voice - like Chezidek but without the operatic histrionics.

Unsurprisingly, love songs are usually his thing (good examples being I Want Your Love Forever on Wiz Kids and Burning Love, his highly successful collaboration with Jah Mason on the Judgement Time Rhythm) but, in keeping with the militancy of the music, Stand Up Firm’s lyric is a highly conscious call to arms.

A good recut of an established rhythm has to sound as fresh as the first, and Stand Up Firm succeeds by being just that. Where some vocals are half backed and hang baggily over the grooves of the music, Lukie’s works with the tune and blends perfectly into the mix. A perfect demonstration of how well a soft voice can work over a hard rhythm in the tradition of the best work of Horace Andy and Cornell Campbell. The B side you should know already, the A side you should get to know now.

Reviewed by Angus Taylor. Copyright 2006.

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