Various artists album review
Reggae Hits Volume 32
November 29 - 2003
from 5 (excellent) to 1 (poor)|
|Vocals : 4/5||Backing : 4||Production : 4||Sound quality : 5||Sleeve : 4|
Jet Star's highly reputed "Reggae Hits" series was launched back in the eighties, when dancehall first evolved from the music of Bob Marley's generation. It's beyond doubt that the albums that were released as part of this series have set the benchmark for every other reggae hits compilation to follow. Two decades later and a "Reggae Hits" set is still one of the most anticipated collection of tunes in the reggae market as it provides a good overview of what's fresh and new in the dancehalls; of which artists and producers are leading the pack and where the music is headed next. In contrast to many other samplers that mainly collect tunes from a certain genre (i.e. lovers, dancehall, roots, etc.), a "Reggae Hits" album features a variety of tunes from the dancehall, roots and UK arenas alike, once again fully expressed on this entertaining 32nd installment. Most eye-catching names featured here are the dancehall rulers and international hitmakers Sean Paul (currently one of the three top-selling acts in the US), former Fugees member Wyclef Jean, the unstoppable "Energy God" Elephant Man, Bounty Killer and Beenie Man, who deliver their deadly goods alongside some of the UK's finest voices including Lloyd Brown, Peter Hunnigale, Don Campbell and Don Ricardo. All of these UK based artists treat us to solid pieces with Peter Hunnigale's "Weeks Go By" and Lloyd Brown's "Black Bags" particularly standing out. Another great vocal performance comes from one of Jamaica’s best-loved vocalists, Beres Hammond, who brings us the excellent anthem "Live My Life". For the conscious-minded there's also the combination Luciano and Rasites who deserve full attention for their awesome anti-war piece "Leaders". Another welcome addition is the sumptuous "Man In Love" by Morgan Heritage, a wonderful tune across the Bobby Digital produced "One 2 One" riddim. Also the younger siblings of the Royal Family Of Reggae, L.M.S., are featured on this compilation presenting the Phillip "Fatis" Burrell produced "One Dance Can Do", a tune worth of hearing. Furthermore the line-up includes the two Rasta prophets, Sizzla and Capleton, who both deliver a Leroy "Sugar Roy" Moore produced tunes. Sizzla rootsy "Blessing" fails to make a strong impression, whilst Capleton's "Chat Dem A Chat" across the dancehall oriented "Footstep" riddim is a decent effort. The second cd, a bonus disc, is a 21 track disc mixed exclusively by BBC Radio 1Xtra's Seani B.