Various Artists

Reggae Gold 2002

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The tenth anniversary edition of reggae's most consistently good compilation series, Reggae Gold 2002 starts out with a bang and then falters slightly. Tanto Metro and Devonte's opening track, "Give It to Her," supplies a wicked riddim to whet listeners appetites but they're bound to go hungry with "Video Light," a red-hot pairing of Lexxus and Mr. Vegas that fails to ignite, and Capleton's homophobic "Bun Out the Chi-Chi," which has so many violent lyrics that the bleeps outnumber the words. The 18-track CD picks up with Terry Linen's typically soulful rendition of an American pop hit; this time he tackles R. Kelly's "World's Greatest" with breezy charm. In the end, two dancehall legends, Lady Saw and Shabba Ranks, manage to save Reggae Gold 2002 with scorching performances on "Baddest Girl" and "Pretty Please," respectively, making the listening well worth the time.

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