Review - Jamaica

Artist: Various Artists

Label: Putumayo World Music
Media: CD
Format: Album
WorkNameSort: Jamaica

It's hard to beat the nirvana of a summer afternoon spent lazing on a snorkeling boat in Montego Bay, soaking up the scorching sun, and enjoying rum and reggae.

Back here on Planet Everyday, there's a new, beautifully packaged compilation from the Putumayo folks to remind us of the musical pleasures of the island nation.

The disc, titled simply "Jamaica," is an appealingly programmed collection of classic and contemporary reggae. Bob Marley isn't here, but other familiar artists and tunes are, including Toots and the Maytals' R&B-drenched "Reggae Got Soul," the sociopolitical punch and slow-burning groove of Culture's "Why Am I a Rastaman," Jimmy Cliff's horns-punched "Give the People What They Want," Black Uhuru's "Sponji Reggae" and Peter Tosh's "Mystery Babylon." Trombonist Rico Rodriguez (of The Specials) and harmony trio Israel Vibration are among several lesser-known notables heard on the 11 tracks.

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