The Mighty Diamonds

The Best of Mighty Diamonds [Times Square]

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Seeing the title The Best of the Mighty Diamonds and noting that this is a two-CD set, Mighty Diamonds fans' eyes may light up, anticipating a much-needed compilation of their work across many years and record labels. Unfortunately, it is necessary to disappoint that hope at the outset. Times Square Records' licensing from Seymour Records is simply a repackaging of two previous Mighty Diamonds albums, Pass the Kouchie and Tour the World, not a true best-of, despite the ambitious title. That isn't to say, however, that some of the Mighty Diamonds' better songs aren't found here, among them "Pass the Kouchie," which, of course, became an international hit for Musical Youth when tamed down as "Pass the Dutchie." The Pass the Kouchie album contains plenty of conscious reggae, as the group sings sweetly of political and religious concerns. Tour the World (not a live album, the title notwithstanding) is more of a lovers rock collection of romantic sentiments, although it concludes with versions of two early politically oriented favorites, "Black Brother" (aka "Why Me Black Brother Why") and "Roof" (aka "I Need a Roof"). If there were more tracks like those, then The Best of the Mighty Diamonds might live up to its name.

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