Various Artists

Romantic Reggae, Vol. 7

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So smooth that one starts to wish for a little "down with Babylon" roots reggae passion about halfway through, this collection of Jamaican romantic offerings still manages to rise above blandness in spots. Sanchez's "Impossible" is a bouncy pop gem, while the distinct crooning voice of the late Garnett Silk on "All the Woman I Need" is nothing short of fascinating. The late Dennis Brown's "Echo" turns out to be a fractured version of Fred Neil's "Everybody's Talkin' at Me," a song that at its core is a poetic yearning for solitude, and one wonders why it would ever turn up on a compilation of love songs, but here it is, deconstructed into a jarringly odd shape.

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