Various artists album review
Strictly The Best Volume 31
VP Records-Walboomers Music
December 22, 2003

Tracking list

  1. Beenie Man feat. MS Thing - Dude
  2. Elephant Man - All Out
  3. Sean Paul feat. Fat Man Scoop & Crooklyn Clan - Clap Your Hands Now (Get Busy Remix)
  4. T.O.K. - Gal Yuh Ah Lead
  5. Elephant Man - Head Gone / Genie Dance
  6. Baby Cham - Vitamin S
  7. Bounty Killer feat. Rik Rok - Do It Right
  8. Assassin - Girls Alone
  9. Rik Rok feat. Shaggy - Your Eyes
  10. Sizzla - Solid As A Rock
  11. Wayne Wonder, Mobb Deep, Fat Joe feat. Surprize - Enemies Remix
  12. Morgan Heritage - Jump Around
  13. Junior Kelly - Smile
  14. Beres Hammond feat. Big Youth - Good Old Dancehall Vibes
  15. Sizzla - (Dry Cry) Just One Of Those Days
  16. Wayne Wonder - Perfect Proposal
  17. Rupee - Tempted To Touch
  18. Sean Paul - Feel Alright
  19. Tanto Metro & Devonte - Burn
  20. Wayne Marshall - Hot In The Club
Rating : from 5 (excellent) to 1 (poor)

Vocals : 4/5 Backing : 4/5 Production : 4 Sound quality : 5 Sleeve : 5

"Strictly The Best Vol. 31" is VP Records' decent round up of some of 2003's finest tunes from the label's own catalogue. Usually VP's annual talent showcase was spread over two seperate discs with one volume mainly focussing on the deejay stars and hardcore dancehall riddims, and the other installment containing the vocal hits of the year. For whatever reason the compilers have chosen to mix the dancehall with roots and lovers rock on one cd. Thus this compilation set features hard hitting dancehall tunes from Elephant Man, Assassin, Sean Paul and T.O.K. alongside more sophisticated efforts delivered by artists such as Beres Hammond, Morgan Heritage and Junior Kelly. It's Elephant Man, Sean Paul, Wayne Wonder and Sizzla who dominate this collection of tunes as they are present with two tracks. Dave Kelly's "Fiesta" riddim has also two cuts featured here; Beenie Man & Ms Thing's monster tune "Dude" and Baby Cham's wicked "Vitamin S". Other big dancehall riddims on this cd are Big Jeans' "All Out", Massive B's "Wanted", Kings Of Kings' "Coolie Dance" and Big Yard's "Salsa". It's also good to witness the inclusion of the smoking "Enemies Remix" from Wayne Wonder, Mobb Deep, Fat Joe featuring Surprize and "Clap Your Hands Now (Get Busy Remix)" from Sean Paul featuring Fat Man Scoop & Crooklyn Clan as remix versions on vinyl are often hard-to-get releases. For the conscious-minded there's the wonderful Bobby Digital produced "Solid As A Rock" from Sizzla and his matching piece "(Dry Cry) Just One Of Those Days". Also worth of hearing is the solid "Good Old Dancehall Vibes", the latest single from honey-voiced crooner Beres Hammond featuring Big Youth. "Strictly The Best Vol. 31" is a strong draw for those who are looking for great riddims and smash hits delivered by some of today's leading artists.

Teacher & Mr. T.