Various Artists

Studio One Dancehall Selection

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On the cover, this album is billed as "14 brand new Studio One hit selections," and that's true, sort of. The vocals are new, but the underlying instrumental tracks are all classics from the vaults of Coxsone Dodd's Studio One, the studio in which so many of the best reggae was made in the 1970s and 1980s. What's strange is the complete lack of musician credits -- instead we get lyrics to all of the songs, which is nice if highly unusual for this type of project. Whatever; it's the songs that matter, and the songs are great: Glen Washington's "Wages of Sin" is a beautiful Rasta anthem, as is Tippa Lee's "Rasta Kitchen." The apparently immortal Sugar Minott contributes two fine love songs, and Dennis Brown does a fine job on "Forget Me Not." The production leaves a little bit to be desired: it's not clear why "I Wish You Were Mine" fades out in the middle of the song, and Dennis Brown's voice is terribly recorded. But the album still succeeds overall.

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