Judgement Days

Studio Album by released in 2005

Judgement Days review

Ms. Dynamite released new album Judgement Days

Ms. Dynamite (aka Niomi McLean-Daley) grew up in North London listening to reggae and turning into hip-hop at the age of 12. Even when she wanted to become a primary school teacher or a social worker, her passion for music was stronger. Punch, Salaam Remi, Tony Kelly, and Dave Kelly produced her first full-length record in Miami, New York, and Jamaica. A Little Deeper featured the hit singles Dy-Na-Mi-Tee and It Takes More. In September 2002, Ms. Dynamite became the first black female artist achieving a Mercury Music Prize, beating favorites The Streets, the Coral, and even music legend David Bowie. A lot has changed in our world in the past three years however and it seems Ms. Dynamite is far from happy with the state of the world and where our leaders have us headed. She has returned more opinionated than ever, with the new album Judgement Days tackling issues from domestic violence and gun crime to war and poverty.

Judgement Day, Put Your Gun Away and Redemption Song to become highlights

Now a mother with a much more mature view of the world, she has decided to give a powerful warning to those who inflict most of its ills. Greedy drug companies, exploitative tycoons and corrupt priests all fall into the line of fire. The good news is that her heartfelt vocal is moving rather than preaching in delivery. Judgement Days is clever, very well written and very powerful. Songs like Judgement Day, Put Your Gun Away and a cover of Bob Marley's Redemption Song, all serve to highlight Ms. Dynamite's anger. Love is a theme, too: both adult relationships and teenage crushes. Back Then captures the innocence of young love and the rose tinted spectacles we view it through. Gotta Let It Go is a good slice of pop soul. Also, Fall In Love Again is a great Jamaican style rendering of the classic Nat King Cole song. There are tracks where she addresses personal issues such as Father, on which seemingly sour relationship between her and her own dad goes under the microscope.

Many producers and collaborators on board for amazing album

The second album sees Ms. Dynamite traveling around the globe as she hooks up again with Chink Santana in Miami, where she also collaborated with Jamaican dancehall legend Stephen 'Lenky' Marsden and up-and-coming Miami producer Wayne The Brain. Back in Europe she flew to Sweden to work with Christian Karlsson, aka Bloodshy, hitmaker for Britney Spears and to Ireland for sessions with Reza Safinia, who has worked with Britney and Kylie. Other collaborations on the album include Southern rapper Lil' Wayne (from the Cash Money crew), fast-rising Jamaican dancehall MC Assassin, and UK MC Sincere. While this is far from merry sing-a-long pop, Judgement Days should prove to be something of a grower as people start to get behind the grooves and fully take in the lyrics. A little bit older, wiser, a celebrity and a mother, too, a lot has changed for 24-year-old Niomi Daley. But Ms. Dynamite's career has just started, and Judgement Days is absolutely amazing due to its realism.