Various Artists

Kings of Reggae [Artists Only]

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This is a nice, but not exceptional, collection of spiritual songs by an assemblage of modern reggae artists that includes Luciano, Dennis Brown, and Freddie McGregor, as well as such relatively obscure singers as Kimberly Washington, Norbeth Clarke, and Tony Curtis. One of the album's best tracks is a surprise appearance by old-school dancehall stalwart Admiral Tibet (in combination with DJ Sarjant D on "Poor People Bawling"). Some of the other nice moments come courtesy of the lesser-known names: Kimberly Washington's "Wonderful Peace" is a sweet and gentle song of warning sung in a smooth lovers rock style; Norbeth Clarke's "Consider the Poor" updates a vintage roots rhythm to create a modern sufferer's anthem of classic quality. Kings of Reggae is marred by production problems on a couple of tracks and generally doesn't hang together very well as a unified musical statement, but can be recommended to anyone interested in the modern manifestations of roots reggae.

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