Various Artists

The Best of the Best, Vol. 6

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One of the strongest of the RAS label's Best of the Best compilations is this one, which also happens to be one of the most stylistically varied. Opening with the classic DJ vehicle "Double Barrel" by Dave Barker and Ansel Collins, it then moves quickly into Tenor Saw's brilliant "Ring the Alarm" and then segues into the minimalist dancehall of rockstone chatter Buju Banton on "Gold Spoon." For the most part, the rest of the album stays in that pendulum-like mode, swinging from classic reggae and early dancehall sounds courtesy of Sister Nancy and Charlie Chaplin to rootsier fare from producer Winston Riley's own band the Techniques ("My Girl") and the very young Yami Bolo. There's also a worthy, if slightly inferior, DJ cut of "Ring the Alarm" by Buju Banton. Overall, this one may be the pick of the Best of the Best litter.

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