Various artists album review
Reggae Gold 2001
VP Records - Walboomers Music
31 - 06 - 2001
Tracking list - Disc 1
from 5 (excellent) to 1 (poor)|
|Vocals : 4/5||Backing : 4/5||Production : 5||Sound quality : 5||Sleeve : 5|
Since VP Records started to issue "Reggae Gold" compilation sets reggae and dancehall fans have seen its quality becoming better and better and now one can easily say that a new release in this acclaimed series stands for one of the finest collections of top flight reggae music to hit the streets. This year's "Reggae Gold" release outmatches all previous issues as it is truly chock full of chart topping reggae and dancehall hits. Big names, trends and styles of the past year are gathered on "Reggae Gold 2001", which - seemingly in fashion - comes as a double CD featuring an almost 30 minutes lasting megamix of 17 out of 18 tracks, courtesy of one of Jamaica's top sound system Stone Love. In the end they do not deliver a really impressive juggling set, but after all it can be regarded as a nice bonus.|
As already indicated "Reggae Gold 2001" exceeds all expectations. From the moment the first track drops in up to the fading away of the last track, one is really treated to a "best of the best" selection. The wicked combination tune "Ain't It Good To Know" over an excellent version of the "Get in The Groove/Up Park Camp" riddim is delivered by Beres Hammond & Buju Banton, who also scored big with last year's hit tune "Pull It Up". A very strong album opener and one of the most outstanding pieces of this set. It is followed by Ce'Cile's chartbuster "Changes". Although having delivered some real nice singles before, it was this self-produced tune across the "Chiney Gal" riddim that put Ce'Cile definitely in the spotlight and brought her to a wider audience. More female niceness is provided by Lady Saw & Marsha, whose massive dancehall hit "Son Of A Bitch" is the so-called counteraction to Shaggy & Rik Rok's monster hit "It Wasn't Me".
TOK's notorious "Chi Chi Man" has been adopted by Edward Seaga's JPL election campaign as its theme song in their critique of the opposition and thus proves that Jamaican music and politics still can go hand in hand like for example producer/singer Clancy Eccles already showed some almost three decades ago. Elephant Man delivers a standout effort riding the infectious "Chiney Gal" riddim, known from Ce'Cile's aforementioned "Changes", before the 'poor people's governor' Bounty Killer rides the awesome "Trilogy" riddim for his wicked (censored) piece called "All Out War". Baby Cham's hard hitting "Man To Man" shows this young deejay in fine style as he rides Dave Kelly's dark riddim "The Bounce" to full effect. Richard "Shams" Brownie's latest riddim is called "Juice" and TOK are one of the many Jamaican artists who have come to voice this killer backdrop. "Shake Your Bam Bam" is a very entertaining tune was is definitely going to become a huge hit... a real dancefloor filler! Beenie Man - here in combination with Mya - is represented with the remix version of "Girls Dem Sugar", a nice effort for the cross-over market.
The mood changes when Sanchez delivers his excellent lovers tune "Pretty Girl" on the "Down By The River" riddim, actually a remake of the classic riddim track to the Studio One song "What Kind Of World" performed by the Cables. Morgan Heritage can be captured in their well known style with "Take Up Your Cross", another standout tune produced by Dean Fraser. Then Sizzla's "Taking Over", a solid, Phillip "Fatis" Burrell produced piece which is underpinned by a very enjoyable, fresh backdrop. Jamaican artists like Richie Stephens, Nitty Kutchie, George Nooks, Junior Kelly, Beres Hammond, Bounty Killer have voiced a wicked medley on the "Jamdown" riddim entitled "Peace Cry". An appealing tune which incorporates lyrics from the classic "Tribal War" song. Junior Kelly's "Boom Draw" is outstanding and belongs to one of his best efforts since he made his breakthrough with "Love So Nice". Frankie Paul's scorcher from the eighties, "Kushungpeng", gets a nice rendition on the "Gunman" riddim by Mikey Spice and Shabba Ranks. This Philip Smart produced tune may help Shabba to return to stardom after he has been away for far too long. Lexxus and Flex from TOK are here in combination for the track "Spy", another wicked piece for King Jammy and Ward 21's "Trilogy" riddim. The "Blue Drawers" riddim uses a wicked sample from Ben E King's sixties r&b hit tune "Spanish Harlem" and sees Capleton in very good shape as he delivers the brilliant "Gimmi The Woman". Then George Nooks chart topping reggae-gospel tune "God Is Standing By" rounds off this excellent compilation set in fine style.