Jamdown Records Presents: Reggae, Vol. 1 is another in the bizarre Jamdown series of records. These albums take only two rhythm tracks and then allow artists to perform over them however they would like. In theory this seems like it would be a good idea, but in order to make it work there has to be some variety. And that is why these albums fail. On this particular volume, the two rhythms are given one of two predictable treatments. Either the song features a rough-voiced rapper spilling out dancehall rhymes or a clear-voiced singer showing off their emotive powers. Either way, the genre of reggae is not varied enough to rely on two rhythms to fuel an entire album. There are good versions of these tracks -- both Fiona and Chavez give it an admirable try. But mostly this is a pretty dull album that only hardcore genre fans will be able to handle.
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AllMusic Review by Bradley Torreano