Essential Reggae Kings Vol. 2
Tad's Records Inc
Digital Release
December 17, 2015

Track list
  1. Jah Cure - Green Grass
  2. Dennis Brown - Don't Want To Be A General
  3. Gregory Isaacs - Happy Anniversary
  4. Sugar Minott - Love Me With Your Heart
  5. John Holt & Dennis Brown - True Believer In Love
  6. The Slickers - Give Us A Break
  7. Sizzla - Lover's Paradise
  8. Richie Spice - Grooving My Girl
  9. Patrick Buddo - Curly Locks
  10. Chezidek - Wrong Law
  11. Terry Linen - At Least Back To Atlanta
  12. Richie Spice - My Heart
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Rating : from 5 (excellent) to 1 (poor)
Vocals : 4/5 Backing : 4/5 Production : 4/5 Sound quality : 5 Sleeve : 3
"Essential Reggae Kings Vol. 2" follows up Tad's Records' compilation set "Essential Reggae Kings", which saw it's digital release earlier this year. Just like the previous sampler this one again features mostly tried and trusted stuff from an artist line-up that includes the names of contemporary stars as well as great veterans such as Dennis Brown, Gregory Isaacs, Sugar Minott and John Holt. These four sorely missed reggae icons make a real good impression with the hard-hitting killer from 1980 "Don't Want To Be A General", the decent "Happy Anniversary" from 1979, the cover of The Heptones' 1968 Studio One classic "Love Me With All Of Your Heart", and the great collaboration tune "True Believer In Love" (from the "Wild Fire" album) respectively. If you don't have them already, these tunes alone make this album worth adding to your collection.

But there's, of course, more reggae niceness included here. This, however, doesn't apply to Jah Cure's "Green Grass" on the "Mission" riddim, which simply isn't the kind of backdrop that suits him well. With the 2013 released "Lover's Paradise" across the Troy McLean produced "Selection" riddim (a relick of the classic "Hypocrites" riddim), Sizzla delivers a solid effort. It's followed by Richie Spice's matching lovers piece "Groovin My Girl" from 2007, one that just does it for everyone. Patrick Buddo was in primary school when Junior Byles was making hits like "Curly Locks" in the 1970s. Although Patrick Buddo's self-produced cover version doesn't come near the 1974 original about a confused Rastafarian youth living in an intolerant society, it's a nice version to hear. Chezidek shines bright on the great "Wrong Law" on the infectious "Hard Drugs" riddim, while Terry Linen delivers the truly beautiful lovers lament "At Least Back To Atlanta". A moving tune that gives you goosebumps. Also Richie Spice comes up with a beautiful (acoustic) love song with beautiful words, rounding off this album in a worthy way.

All in all this "Essential Reggae Kings Vol. 2" is a solid sampler.