Live In The Streets
Label: VP Records
This acoustic EP, recorded live on a Kingston street, captures Richie Spice's genius for performance even better than his studio albums. Freed from polished production, his voice leaps registers, swooping from a fierce falsetto to mic-controlling gruffness in the space of just a few notes, buttressed by an unnamed female collaborator. But what really translates is his social conscience: Being physically on the streets seems to lend gravity and immediacy to lyrics about social change. When he starts singing "Brown Skin," though, you may find yourself too hot under the collar to think politics.