Various Artists

Take Me to Jamaica: Story of Jamaican Mento

  • AllMusic Rating
  • User Ratings (0)
  • Your Rating

AllMusic Review by

Though its subject matter is considerably more cheerful, Jamaican mento is roughly analogous to American country blues. Performed on whatever (mostly acoustic) instruments came to hand, the rough back-country music was less sophisticated than calypso, and predated ska and bluebeat by a couple of decades. Demonstrating the genre's vitality, this classic compilation features a variety of melodies, titles, phrases, and even songs that figure throughout Jamaican musical history. Lord Fly's medley of "Linsted Market," "Hold Im Joe," and others, will be familiar to lovers of Caribbean folk music, while the lyrics to Lord Tickler's "Green Guava" predate Desmond Dekker's late-1960s reggae classic, "It Mek." Though the sound is mostly primitive, the performances are heartfelt, natural, and infectiously exuberant; here are the early roots of reggae, dancehall, and reggaeton.

Track Listing

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
1 02:55 Amazon
2 03:06 Amazon
3 03:30 Amazon
4 03:16 Amazon
5 03:33 Amazon
6 03:04 Amazon
7 03:10 Amazon
8 02:48 Amazon
9 03:51 Amazon
10 03:22 Amazon
11 03:06 Amazon
12 03:59 Amazon
13 03:31 Amazon
14 03:02 Amazon
15 02:40 Amazon
16 02:54 Amazon
17 02:57 Amazon
18 03:13 Amazon
19 03:05 Amazon
20 03:07 Amazon
21 02:41 Amazon
22 03:21 Amazon
23 02:53 Amazon
24 03:11 Amazon
blue highlight denotes track pick