Various Artists

Our Favorite Beres Hammond Songs

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VP Records achieves the twin goals of paying tribute to the songwriting abilities of Beres Hammond and sampling the talents of its roster of reggae artists on the two-disc Our Favorite Beres Hammond Songs. Hammond's pop sensibility is on display especially on the first disc, as singers such as Tessanne ("Step Aside"), Duane Stephenson ("Black Beauty"), and Carmeal Davis ("Love Means Never to Say You Are Sorry") explore romantic issues. The second disc is largely given over to more socially conscious material, notably Marcia Griffiths' "Reggae Calling," Torch's "Freedom," and A.J. Brown's "Preacher Man." Hammond himself turns up to bring things to a close with "Fire & Ice," providing a typically emphatic performance. That's really the end, although a remix of Alaine's "No Disturb Sign" (heard in its normal mix as the last track on the first disc) provides a dub-worthy conclusion.

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