Various Artists

The Biggest Reggae One-Drop Anthems 2011

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This roots-minded series had long been a proud annual staple of the Greensleeves label by the time this one rolled out, but The Biggest Reggae One-Drop Anthems 2011 ups the ante a bit with a couple ambitious moves. First, there’s the track sequencing, which flows from beginning to finish with the greatest of ease. Next, there’s the mellow remix of Vybz Kartel’s “Spend Time” making its premiere here, and then, there’s an amazing interlude called “Cow Shit Splash” featuring legendary reggae producer Bunny Lee explaining how the “one-drop” sound came about (and apparently all those drummers who told you it was because of the “first beat” were full of...stuff). Past these fine little touches is the usual high-caliber selecting, including massive reggae hits like the usually dancehall Busy Signal covering Beres Hammond’s lovers rock hit “Tempted to Touch” and Gyptian teaming with the legendary Dean Fraser for “Where You Belong.” Midnite and Gentleman are here to represent the rewarding fringe of the one-drop sound while two cuts from Romain Virgo rightfully indicate he’s 2011’s rising star. Superb.

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