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The Biggest Reggae One-Drop Anthems 2005

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Various Artists 10/11/2005

Review

When a deeply, even proudly hedonistic dancehall culture rediscovers roots consciousness (or at least the pleasures of roots-flavored rhythms), the results can be a bit surreal. Many of the beats that are billed on this album as "one-drop" really are modern updates of the classic one-drop rhythm, but there are also some rockers numbers and quite a few uneasy hybrids of old- and new-school reggae, most of which work well but don't sound entirely natural. Some of the artists featured here (notably Sizzla, Anthony B, and Richie Spice) are old hands at roots-dancehall fusion, and others are fresh young faces on the neo-roots and dancehall scenes. Some of the album's best tracks are provided by those with a long background in the genre: Sizzla, in particular, is at the top of his form on the brilliant "Where Are You Running To," which also boasts one of the most powerfully effective rhythms on the program; Anthony Cruz also hits hard with his excellent update of the vintage "Real Rock" rhythm. On the downside are the handful of tracks performed by Jah Cure, a desperately overrated singer who combines an unappealing, whiny delivery with a complete inability to sing in tune. Bushman quotes Black Uhuru on the fine "My Meditation," and Buju Banton joins Cruz for a brilliant combination track on "Place Too Bloody." You can't say that the Greensleeves label isn't giving value for money with this generously packed compilation, which retails for $18.98 and features two and a half hours of music -- but though it's a good two-disc set, it could easily have been pared down into an outstanding one-disc collection. ~ Rick Anderson
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  1. # Track Artist Length
  2. 1 Jamaica Jah Cure 3:48
  3. 2 Handcart Boy Perfect 3:42
  4. 3 Serious Times Gyptian 5:0
  5. 4 Place Too Bloody Various Artists 3:59
  6. 5 In the Ghetto Hero 3:52
  7. 6 My Grade Da'Ville 2:55
  8. 7 Love Is Jah Cure 3:35
  9. 8 Hail the King Fantan Mojah 3:59
  10. 9 Blood Again Richie Spice 3:49
  11. 10 Murderer Chuck Fender 3:30
  12. 11 Mi Chalwa Jah Mason 3:6
  13. 12 Home & Away Norris Man 3:37
  14. 13 Be Strong Sizzla 3:36
  15. 14 Far from Reality Natural Black 3:1
  16. 15 These Are the Times Jah Cure 4:3
  17. 16 Blessings of Jah Gentleman 3:48
  18. 17 Team Up Jah Mason 2:53
  19. 18 Where Are You Running To Sizzla 3:34
  20. 19 The Sound Jah Cure 3:34
  21. 20 Freedom Various Artists 4:55
  22. 1 Longing For Jah Cure 3:46
  23. 2 Thanks & Praise Fantan Mojah 3:45
  24. 3 Mama Gyptian 3:45
  25. 4 Operation Kingfish Richie Spice 3:56
  26. 5 Rasta Still deh Bout Josie Mel 3:54
  27. 6 My Princess Gone Jah Mason 3:12
  28. 7 Superior Gentleman 3:46
  29. 8 We Nuh Wah No Gun a Dance Anthony Cruz 3:30
  30. 9 Hungry Fantan Mojah 3:28
  31. 10 Rise to the Occasion Sizzla 3:49
  32. 11 Share the Love Jah Cure 3:40
  33. 12 Way How Chezidek 4:11
  34. 13 My Meditation Bushman 3:39
  35. 14 World a Reggae Music Anthony B 3:43
  36. 15 For My People Chuck Fender 3:15
  37. 16 Be Conscious Jahmali 3:54
  38. 17 All I Got Perfect 4:7
  39. 18 High Grade Forever Tony Curtis 2:58
  40. 19 Poor Man's Cry Jah Cure 3:35
  41. 20 Jah Works Sizzla 4:20

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