Various Artists

The Ultimate Reggae Mix, Vol. 1

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Apparently the Ultimate Reggae Mix, Vol. 1 does not need the presence of Peter Tosh, Bob Marley, Lee Perry, or any other classic reggae figures. In fact, this recording believes that Buju Banton and Yami Bolo are worthy of being on the Ultimate Reggae Mix over them. Now even with the understanding that the point of the album is to focus on reggae from the '90s and the turn of the century, that still does not make that title any less forgivable. Especially when so much of the material is awful pop dreck that does not even resemble reggae, except for some rhythms spread here and there. The nicest thing to say about it is that some of the pop dreck is not that bad. Standing out from the rest of the pack is Anthony Cruz's smooth island ballad "Thinking About You," Elephant Man's jagged and tripped out duet with Mr. Steve "Way Dem Ago Do Now," and Heather Cummings' "Hanky Panky," which could barely be considered reggae, but works as a pop song. These songs really do not stand out because they are different, but because they are the best examples of the pop reggae sound that haunts this album. But these songs do not save the album by any means, especially when so much of what is around them sounds so similar. This is not recommended for anyone but those who enjoy this brand of disposable smooth reggae.

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