The Biggest Reggae One-Drop Anthems 2008
CD + DVD
October 10, 2008
from 5 (excellent) to 1 (poor)|
|Vocals : 5||Backing : 5||Production : 5||Sound quality : 5||Sleeve : 4|
In the last three years Greensleeves' "The Biggest Reggae
One-Drop Anthems" releases obviously weren't only a pleasant way to collect a great share
of the harvest of successful nu-roots singles for non 7" buyers like me, but seemingly
were a pleasant way to collect revenues from not as one-riddim-album licensed riddims for
Greensleeves. And now the fourth annual volume has been released, "The Biggest Reggae
One-Drop Anthems 2008" and like last year, contrary to the first two editions, not a double
CD, but a CD combined with a DVD. And probably as first album since the acquisition of
Greensleeves by VP Records, influenced by that acquisition as the emphasis seems to be this
time on artists who have or are about to release(d) albums on VP Records. Not necessarily a
bad thing, but still ...|
The album opens with Sizzla's excellent "Crucial Time" for Homer Harris' Jam Style Records, followed by 'Digicell Rising Stars 2007' discovery Romain Virgo who recorded the beautiful "Mi Caan Sleep" for Penthouse's Donovan Germain over the latter's (Beres Hammond) 'I Feel Good'-riddim. One of the strongest songs of Morgan Heritage's latest released album "Mission In Progress" is their song over No Doubt Records' 'Rub-A-Dub'-riddim, the harsh reality of "Nothing To Smile About", before Richie Spice contributes his (despite the Bobby 'Digital' Dixon production) fine yet nothing more than that ganja tune "Wrap Up A Draw" but then Luciano truly impresses with the beautiful "Trod Out" over Dean Fraser's relick of Prince Allah's seminal 'Stone'-riddim and so does Trinidad's smooth reggae singer Jamelody with "Love Crazy" across Digital B's relick of the classic 'Queen Of The Minstrel'-riddim.
Bermuda's Collie Buddz also dwells on Lovers Lane with the sweet "Gimmie Love" over Big League's 'Paradise'-riddim produced by Seani B and so do Jah Cure, as he for Nando Garcia's Nicetime Music delivers the great "Forever" fully profiting from the wonderful relick of Lorna Bennett's 'Breakfast In Bad'-riddim and Terry Linen, whose wonderful voice unfortunately is too seldom heard, contributing the excellent lovers tune "No Time To Linger" over Joe Fraser Records' 'Chi Chi Bud'-riddim. More lovers music in very fine style (although about broken hearts) comes from the combination of Queen Ifrica & Junior Kelly with "Too Late" over the 'Balaclava'-riddim from Al.Ta.Fa.An's Anthony Senior. Irie Love, given the name Irie by her father, an avid reggae fan and Love being her mother's family name, grew up in Hawaii, but is about to make it in Jamaica, after moving there 2 years ago, reaching the finals of the Irie FM Red Stripe Big Break Competition and now recording this big (by Anthony B's "God Above Everthing" inspired) "Put Jah First" for Stephen 'The Genius' McGregor.
With his Dean Fraser produced take on the riddim of "Jah Live", Bob Marley's superb tune from 1975, former 2-Isis lead vocalist Duane Stephenson's "August Town" launched his solo-career and recorded the title song for his debut album "From August Town". Sizzla's second tune on this set "Rastah Man Chant" is another scorcher, recorded for upcoming UK producer Edward 'Oxman' Brydson over his 'Vet Law'-riddim for his Dill Ox Inta label, followed by the very entertaining combination "Enter The Kingdom Of Zion" over 'The Session'-riddim by Anthony B alongside legendary singer Horace Andy for Frenchie's Maximum Sound and Rootdown Records' smashing 'iLove' roots riddim produced by German Thilo 'Teka' Jocks getting a brilliant vocal rootsy lovers treatment by Dutch (Antillean) Ziggi. Morgan Heritage team up for their second tune on this album with hardcore dancehall DJ Busy Signal for the magnificent "Run Dem Whey" produced by Juke Boxx' Shane Brown, followed by Tarrus Riley with "Lion Paw" - which was already recorded in 2006 for Dean 'Cannon' Fraser -.
Then Gyptian with the very strong titletrack of his new album "I Can Feel Your Pain" across Imran "Fire Peter" Passard & John "FX" Crawford's 'Cloud Nine'-riddim (that also backed the title track of I Wayne's "Book Of Life" album) bring this very satisfying roots (and lovers) compilation to its close. Instead of a second CD however (like the first two volumes) which would have been my favourite option, like last year a DVD with 6 (rather fine, I'll admit) videoclips and 2 nice features about Duane Stephenson and his making of "August Town" and Jamelody has been included. Yet the selections on the CD are strong enough, so I don't think not adding another 18 selections on a second CD could harm my judgement of this "The Biggest Reggae One-Drop Anthems 2008" as a very fine compilation, the selected tunes are all very strong but the selection itself could have been a bit more towards 7" only tunes and exclusives.