Various Artists

Total Recall, Vol. 6

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Total Recall, Vol. 6 Review

by John Gonsalves

The purpose of this ten-volume collection is to compile popular Jamaican reggae hits of the '80s, and in that effort it succeeds. The problem is that those hits don't provide enough variety to make a truly entertaining collection. Dancehall music of that era relied heavily on recycled older rhythms rather than music writing, and so a successful take on an established rhythm required a novel approach. That translates into novelty, and novelty wears thin quickly. Of the 22 tracks, 16 rely on just four rhythm tracks, including "Heavenless" (aka "Greetings") and "Johnny Dollar" (aka "Diseases"). Another uses the "Under Me Sleng Teng" track. Still another is a Tracy Chapman cover. In all, this disc may satisfy the nostalgic impulse of older reggae fans who remember specific songs, but those seeking contemporary musical treasure will find only a handful of tracks worth visiting with any regularity.

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