Various Artists

This Is Crucial Reggae: Soul Party

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Trojan's This Is Crucial Reggae series is really a group of samplers (each runs around 35 minutes in length) showcasing the label's vast ska and reggae licensing catalog, and the template of the other titles in the series is to mix bona fide Jamaican hits with reggaefied covers of familiar international pop and soul songs. Crucial Reggae Soul Party, however, is all covers, with the exception of the lead track, Bob Marley's "Soul Shakedown Party." The Jamaican versions of these soul, R&B, and Motown tunes are certainly interesting, but none of them equal the original versions. The end result feels a bit like a novelty album, and as reggae goes, nothing here is particularly crucial.

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