The Biggest Reggae One-Drop Anthems 2005
CD / 2LP
November 24, 2005

Track list
Disc 1

  1. Jah Cure - Jamaica
  2. Perfect - Handcart Boy
  3. Gyptian - Serious Times
  4. Anthony Cruz & Buju Banton - Place Too Bloody
  5. Hero - In The Ghetto
  6. Daville - My Grade
  7. Jah Cure - Love Is
  8. Fantan Mojah - Hail The King
  9. Richie Spice - Blood Again
  10. Chuck Fender - Murderer
  11. Jah Mason - Mi Chalwa
  12. Norris Man - Home & Away
  13. Sizzla - Be Strong
  14. Natural Black - Far From Reality
  15. Jah Cure - These Are The Times
  16. Gentleman & Ras Shiloh - Blessings Of Jah
  17. Jah Mason - Team Up
  18. Sizzla - Where Are You Running To
  19. Jah Cure - The Sound
  20. Richie Spice & Chuck Fender - Freedom
Disc 2

  1. Jah Cure - Longing For
  2. Fantan Mojah - Thanks & Praise
  3. Gyptian - Mama
  4. Richie Spice - Operation Kingfish
  5. Luton Fire & Josie Mel - Rasta Still De Bout
  6. Jah Mason - My Princess Gone
  7. Gentelman - Superior
  8. Anthony Cruz - We Nuh Wah No Gun A Dance
  9. Fantan Mojah - Hungry
  10. Sizzla - Rise To The Occasion
  11. Jah Cure & Gentleman - Share The Love
  12. Chezideck - Way How
  13. Bushman - My Meditation
  14. Anthony B - World Of Reggae Music
  15. Chuck Fender - For My People
  16. Jah Mali - Be Conscious
  17. Perfect - All I Got
  18. Tony Curtis - High Grade Forever
  19. Jah Cure - Poor Man's Cry
  20. Sizzla - Jah Works
Rating : from 5 (excellent) to 1 (poor)
Vocals : 3 Backing : 3 Production : 3 Sound quality : 2 Sleeve : 1
There seem to be two schools of thought about the new one drop "revival" gaining momentum in Europe and Jamaica -- newer, and perhaps younger listeners seem to be very excited about it, whilst older listeners seem to consider they have "heard it all before."

It does seem fair to say that little has changed in JA production values since the Xterminator revolution. But equally true -- even if you are a cynic about current production/engineering values -- you can't deny that there have been some essential rhythms released recently: for example the apocalyptic bass line on the recent work from Anthony B "World Of Reggae Music" (which featured highly on Teacher & Mr T's playlist over the last months) and the adrenaline edginess of Fantan Mojah's "Hungry."

Both tracks are essential and both feature on this compilation. Watch out for the thunderous white label versions of Anthony B's tune currently circulating amongst sound men, journalists and DJ's, the best of which might even win over some listeners' cynicism about the current one drop revival. "My Grade" by D'Aville is over the same rhythm, and is included here too -- so fret not! If you can't get the white labels, two cuts to the tune are included here.

Anthony Cruz featured on this album -- sings so well -- but is it really necessary to keep on recycling these three decade old Studio One rhythms? These bright young singers with a message to communicate surely deserve fresher rhythms than this. Tony Curtis, another contributor here, has a poignant, beautiful voice -- but is handed The Viceroys' decades old "Ya Ho" to chant over -- doesn't a talented artist such as this deserve fresher rhythms to chant over? Hero gives us the irresistible "In the Ghetto" an uplifting chant, but again -- it's on an old Channel 1 tune (Jah Lloyd's "Soldier Pon The Corner" ).

Norris Man's "Home And Away" veers into jazz (perhaps Dean Fraser's influence?) whilst Natural Black -- one of the vital new talents featured on the Blood & Fire Label recently -- has an edgy, visceral style which makes you sit up and pay attention.

So a mixed response to this album then -- a lot of it simply sounds too rushed, too similar -- there isn't enough difference of style encouraged so it seems, and there is too much easy acceptance of mediocre rhythms.

But the peaks of this style in 2005 are imperative to seek out -- No question about that -- The inventiveness of reggae will always shine through and uplift, motivate and penetrate the heart in a manner that other music forms are simply unable to match.