Pure Reggae

Various Artists

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Pure Reggae Review

by Stephen Thomas Erlewine

Pure Reggae doesn't seem as obvious a choice as Pure Moods or Pure Celtic, largely because it seems earthy, not mystical. Pure Reggae doesn't dispel that notion, especially since it contains such party anthems as Apache Indian's "Boom Shakalak" and Eddy Grant's "Electric Avenue," as well as bastardized mainstream reggae-pop like Big Mountain's "Baby I Love Your Way," plus Eric Clapton's cover of "I Shot the Sheriff." In fact, Pure Reggae covers a lot of ground, from Desmond Dekker's ska classic "Israelites" to dub and dancehall. It's a sampler, in other words, and it's a little scattershot at that. Nevertheless, it's fairly effective, considering that it really does contain many of the reggae tunes that are best-known by pop audiences: "Stir It Up," "Bad Boys," "Rivers of Babylon," "Many Rivers to Cross," "Montego Bay," "Kingston Town," "My Boy Lollipop," and "Exodus." That alone will make it quite attractive for many listeners.

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