Strictly The Best Vol. 33
VP Records-Walboomers Music
December 6, 2005

Track list
  1. Willie Bounce - Elephant Man
  2. Tuck In U Belly - Left Side & Esco
  3. Me Too Bad - Buju Banton
  4. Get Up - Voice Mail
  5. Move Your Body (Megamix) - Soltex
  6. Taxi Fare - Lexxus feat. Mr. Vegas
  7. Run Out Pon Dem - Sizzla
  8. Notorious - Turbulence
  9. The Right Herbs - Wayne Marshall
  10. SlengTeng Resurrection - Bounty Killer feat. Wayne Smith
  11. God Nah Sleep - Assassin
  12. Too Bloody - Buju Banton & Anthony Cruz
  13. Lighting Flash - Shane-O
  14. Lolly - Idonia
  15. Not Going Down - Busy Signal
Rating : from 5 (excellent) to 1 (poor)
Vocals : 3 Backing : 3 Production : 3 Sound quality : 4 Sleeve : 3
VP's long running series 'Strictly The Best' returns with two new editions. Volume 33 features fifteen dancehall tracks, whilst its co-release, volume 34, covers the reggae side of things. In addition to boasting tracks from veterans such as Elephant Man, Buju Banton and Sizzla ,'Strictly The Best 33' also features a number of 'breakthrough' hits from up and coming artists such as Anthony Cruz, Busy Signal and Shane O. On top of a variety of artists are a number of successful dancehall riddims like the 'Throwback Giggy', Christopher Birch's 'Cry Baby' and the 'Applause' from Rohan Fuller a.k.a. 'Snowcone'.

The compilation kicks off in good, yet familiar fashion with well known hits 'Willie Bounce' from Elephant Man as well as Buju's 'Me Too Bad' and Leftside & Esco's 'Tuck in U Belly'. Sadly, but not unpredictably, the quality cannot be maintained and there are a number of duff moments, two of which feature Wayne Marshall. Firstly his track 'The Right Herbs' is a novelty offering with little longevity, and the obligatory 'Sleng Teng Resurrection' with Bounty Killer is clumsy - this resurrection would have been better left for dead. I would also put newcomer Idonia's track 'Lolly' forward as a weak inclusion, due in no small part to the fact that I always find the 'Irish Dance Riddim' it utilizes deeply annoying. Assassin, an artist who has really come to prominence over the past year with hits such as 'As a Man' and 'Idiot Thing That', contributes 'God Nah Sleep'. It is a decent enough tune which is unfortunately outshone by the strength of the other tracks, for those familiar with them, on the 'Cry Baby' riddim it rides. However there are enough good points, including the excellent upbeat singer/deejay combo of Buju and Anthony Cruz on 'Too Bloody', as well as Turbulence's threatening tale of salvation 'Notorious'.

Overall I would say 'Strictly The Best 33' is a pretty average dancehall compilation; there are probably an equal number of good, bad and middling tracks. I think VP should be praised for mixing up the artists they have used and trying to give exposure to some newcomers and lesser known artists, but this does make the CD something of a hit and miss offering.