Compilations can often be a bit dull and it’s tough not to wander away in the jungle of new compilations introduced on iTunes every week. This is probably one of the reasons why I think 2010 hasn’t been a great year for new compilations. It has just been too many with too poor quality.
But there are still compilations that are very well crafted and well compiled. The new Dennis Brown Anthology and Absolutely The Uniques just to name two.
But in my list of the best compilations in 2010, I’ve only selected various artists’ albums and eliminated those that are dedicated to just one artist or group. I’ve also excluded riddim compilations to narrow it down even further.
Below are the three compilations that I’ve enjoyed the most in 2010.
3. Various – Dancehall 2 – The Rise of Jamaican Dancehall Culture
The second edition in the Soul Jazz Records “Dancehall” series featuring some great dancehall moments with wicked artists such as Yellowman, Johnny Osbourne and Lone Ranger. An absolutely essential guide that features both classic tunes as well as rarer ones.
2. Various – Digital Acoustics
Gathers some of the best tunes from producer Curtis Lynch. Includes several relicks, but also some own material. A great introduction to this master producer and his hefty sounds.
1. Various – Bobo Revolution 2
Includes 21 cuts on nine well crafted riddims produced by mastermind Frenchie. Artists ranging from chanters to sweeter voices such as Peetah Morgan. No fillers, only killers.
The liner notes of the second series of the Bobo Revolution compilation state, that label Maximum Sound “has excelled at making dancehall, vocals, deejay and roots records”. I couldn’t have put it better myself. I rank Maximum Sound and producer Frenchie among the best modern reggae producers.
The first Bobo Revolution was released three years ago and collected 21 massive tunes, ranging from Africa We’re From with Natty King to Show More Love by Turbulence.
The new Bobo Revolution also includes 21 cuts from well known singers and deejays such as Capleton, Sizzla, Chezidek and Luciano. And this compilation actually exceeds its predecessor. There are no fillers here, only killers. Not something I’m used to when it comes to compilations.
Bobo Revolution 2 offers nine well crafted rhythms, both originals and relicks, and all artists give powerful performances. The two that impress me the most are Turbulence and Jah Mason. Their songs are acoustic and actually work very well. Their fierce delivery contrasts nicely to the stripped instrumentation.
Some of the many highlights include Peetah Morgan’s Jesse James and Real Life by Jah Mali. It’s great to hear soul voiced Peetah Morgan over the rootsy Vineyard riddim, probably best known for Capleton’s All Is Well on his recent album, also included here. Jah Mali is an excellent singer that sadly has not done much recording in recent years. Here he proves that he has to step into the studio on a more frequent basis.
The only thing that might have done this excellent compilation ever better would’ve been dub versions to every rhythm. But nonetheless, I’m quite satisfied.