5th Element

5th element

5th Element is a welcome return to what made Bounty Killer famous. As if to let you know that he’s back, the first two tracks explode in a frenzy of lyrics and riddims, the catchy “Anytime” being particularly enjoyable, ranking among his all-time best. Among the rest of the cuts, “Fortune and Fame” sticks out as the best, most of which are simple yet effective bare bones, hardcore dancehall that will get your head bobbing, especially “Lord of da Warriors,” “Population,” “Request,” and “Mr. Tear and Bore.” A few tracks hold this album back from being truly memorable, however. There’s no other way to describe “Too Busy To Die,” “Tempt Me,” “Mr. Wanna Be,” and the remix of “Anytime” than just plain sloppy — the first two containing unimaginative generic dancehall rhythms, the third being a poor attempt to re-visit Bounty Killer’s classic “Lodge,” and the last sounding less like a remix than a recording of a recording of “Anytime,” complete with craggly, distant sound quality. The only hip-hop reggae song on 5th Element is a “hidden track,” “Look,” which was banned in Jamaica (as a sticker on the CD cover proudly proclaims) for its supposed promotion of violence. While not the most enlightened song in the world, “Look” is catchy and enjoyable in somber way. It’s certainly not anything that is so incendiary that it deserved to be banned. It is performed from the point of view of a desperate criminal who sees crime as his only option in his bleak life, but Bounty Killer, but Bounty Killer has always performed “gun lyrics,” so why is this anything shocking? If a song is going to influence someone’s behavior, chances are that person will come across something else that will have the same negative effect. He/she has bigger problems to worry about than a song.