Various Artists

Everybody Loves Bob Marley

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"Everywhere I go, everybody loves Bob Marley" goes the repeated refrain from Macka B's "Bob" which kicks off (and lends a title to) this tribute to the reggae great. Featuring artists from Jamaica, Hawaii, Tahiti and the U.K. (all island nations, get it?), Everybody Loves Bob Marley runs square into the problem that most tribute albums encounter: Nothing matches or beats the original version. That doesn't mean things don't work on most of these tracks. Marley was a masterful writer as well as being a charismatic performer, and his songs have a built in integrity and durability, which means one would really have to work hard to mess them up, and luckily no one here does. Tracks like Nom's "Waiting in Vain," Baba B's "So Much Trouble in the World" and Tru Rebels' "Bad Card" all hit their mark, but again, it's the songs that really should get most of the credit rather than the performers. In the end, this tribute ends up being pleasant and appropriately sincere, but one can't help but yearn for Marley's own versions of these songs.

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