Various Artists

Reggae for Kids [Castle Pulse]

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This 20-track collection of nursery rhyme-themed reggae sides from Trojan and Creole Records is actually more fun than a barrel of monkeys at the summer carnival; full of goofy, infectious singalongs that sound delightfully fresh thanks to the island rhythms that drive them. Tracks like the Plutonics' bouncing version of "Blue Moon," Desmond Dekker's take on "The Lion Sleeps Tonight (Wimoweh)," and the Deltones' brave, one-drop stab at "Chopsticks" (somebody had to try it, right?) are certainly a far cry from the social righteousness themes and herb happy sentiments that most folks associate with Jamaican reggae, and what this set shows more than anything else is how any kind of music can be reggaefied. Kids will probably even like it, too, although the absolutely insane-sounding "Yodel Reggae" (which is exactly what the title states, a yodel set over a reggae rhythm) by Leroy Gibbs) is too dangerous for anyone to hear more than once, and maybe not even once. Some things are just wrong.

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