Reggae Gold
Now in its sixteenth edition, the Reggae Gold Series from VP records aims to serve up the biggest reggae and dancehall tunes of the past year, and while the 2008 compilation does feature some popular songs, it is a mixed bag.
It opens strongly with Damien and Stephen Marley’s The Mission, on one of 2008s biggest riddims, of the same title, produced by Baby G. This tune topped the Jamaican charts, with Movado’s cut on the riddim at number two, for two consecutive weeks. Another chart topper from Movado is selected, Money Changer, on Final Warning riddim. Making money is a popular theme in modern bashment, and here Movado explores that theme by extolling the virtues of hard work and staying true to oneself.
The compilation continues with more dancehall from Beenie Man, and his massive dancing tune, Wine Gal, which spent six big weeks at the top of the JA charts.
Two of dancehall’s newer stars get featured; Serani and Bugle, with a collaboration tune, and each with an individual hit. Both of these vocalists have had some huge tunes recently, and are just two of many talented new dancehall artists making waves. On the subject of new artists, I would have liked to have seen an Erup tune featured; Certainly Click Mi Finger is easily a big enough tune to have made this album, especially given the inclusion of a couple of weaker tunes such as Wayne Wonder’s For My Love.
The compilation has more of a reggae selection over the second half, again with some big tunes. Richie Spice’s, The Plane Land – on the newly revived Rub a Dub riddim – and Ease Off from Tarrus Riley are the stand outs for me, as well as Pressure, from new-comer, Jamelody, whose voice has been compared to Garnett Silk and Dennis Brown’s – his debut album was released April 2008 on VP records.
While I have concentrated on the good tunes on this album, in my view there are some glaring omissions. I have already mentioned Click Mi Finger by Erup as a tune and new artist I think should have been featured, also Driver by Buju Banton stands out as a track that room should have been made for. Another huge miss for me was the lack of any Stephen ‘The Genius’ McGregor (Big Ship) produced riddims. Over the last year he has produced hits after hits, and not to see any here was surprising.
All in all there are definitely some big tunes here, they just could have been bigger!
Al Good