Sunday, 11 April 2010

Various Artists - 'Soul of Jamaica'

I could listen to reggae til it comes out of my ears. Hang on, that's a weird thing to say about something that goes into your ears. I could listen to reggae all day. That's a much better, if slightly more prosaic, declaration of enjoyment. I love the warmth of the production, and the humanity of the music. But there's something odd going on here.

Every track on this compilation album seems to be suffused with sadness. I don't know why that is - maybe there's a lot of minor key arrangements here, or maybe this is one of those records that I played on repeat at a low point in my life. Even the uptempo arrangement of 'Dream Lover' seems to be played briskly so as to get it over as quickly as possible. It reminds me of the saying 'the blues ain't nothing but a good man feeling bad', except this is reggae, and it's spookily mournful.

Despite loving it, I may never play this record again.

Catalogue Number: HELP15

Tracks: This is Reggae Music. Funky Kingston. Starvation. Concrete Jungle. UFO. The World is Upside Down. Hey Mr Yesterday. Chapel of Love. Guava Jelly. Dream Lover.

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