It’s December and that means holiday and lists. Reggaemani will present top lists featuring albums, songs and reissues. And I kick things off with 20 albums that rocked my world in the past year.
The list below is diverse with several different countries, styles and genres represented. Included are artists from Jamaica, the U.S., France, Spain, Switzerland and the UK covering roots, dancehall, dub, ska, jazz and hip-hop.
The list below is presented in no particular order and if you’re curious about the albums make sure to check my Spotify playlist with 18 sets. Download the playlist here. Enjoy!
Artist – title
Mista Savona – Havana Meets Kingston
A historical musical meeting and the warm compositions bubble with energy and sincerity.
Ken Boothe – Inna de Yard
A heartfelt and genuine album produced with love and care for reggae music.
Randy Valentine – New Narrative
A personal album where Randy Valentine guides the listener through his life journey so far. It’s personal and intimate and throughout the set he conveys the power to manifest one’s own destiny and take responsibility for one’s own actions.
Red Foot & The Shades – Children’s Prayer
A dreamy, emotional and soothing masterpiece recorded and mixed with analogue equipment and powered by devout musical and spiritual perspectives.
Lee Perry & Subatomic Sound System – Super Ape Returns to Conquer
Classic album for a new generation of dub fans.
Jesse Royal – Lily of da Valley
Showcases Jesse Royal’s sparkling and versatile vocal delivery and sense for infectious melodies and hooks. It’s certainly a well-rounded debut offering a little something for everyone.
The Expanders – Old Time Something Come Back Again
A cover album that’s far from nostalgic. The Expanders put their signature mark on every track with vintage vibes and a vocal style reminiscent of reggae from the late 60s.
Mr. Williamz & Green Lion Crew – The General Comes to Town
Mr. Williamz’ flow is as usual flawless and the beats and riddims he rides are ultra-solid and rock-hard.
L’Entourloop – Le savoir faire
With Le savoir faire L’Entourloop has created a playful and clever album taking the very best from reggae, dancehall and hip-hop. A bona-fide head-nodder with less than zero dull moments.
Ras Zacharri & MNIB – Love Over Hate
Ras Zacharri’s warm and raspy voice suits these elegant, and sometimes militant, riddims and arrangements very well.
Lutan Fyah – Music Will Never Die
Comes with clever and detailed arrangements, infectious melodies and passionate and earnest performances from Lutan Fyah.
Stand High Patrol – The Shift
Stand High Patrol’s sound and Pupajim’s broken English might not be for everyone and The Shift is far from the reggae mainstream. But if you’re in the mood for jazz with a hip-hop and reggae twist, well, then this is the album for you.
Damian Marley – Stony Hill
A solid album, which would have been even better with 12 rather than 18 tracks.
Samory I – Black Gold
The riddims are majestic and the cuts often come with long instrumental parts. It’s a solid musical journey with Samory I’s heartfelt vocals and conscious lyrics on top of it all
Vin Morgan Meets Lone Ark – Give Thanks
Check the militancy of a cut like Can’t Complain Dub with its smattering percussion, haunting keys and fanfare like horns. Best of the bunch is however the bright and uplifting Gimme the Vibes.
Chronixx – Chronology
With Chronology Chronixx expands the roots reggae horizon and in a few years this album will rank as one of reggae’s landmark albums.
Mark Wonder – Dragon Slayer
His voice has improved over the years, but he still sounds a lot like the late and great Garnett Silk. His singing is emotional and powerful and he delivers these cultural and militant numbers with melody and soul.
Courtney John – Ecosystem
His velvety and heartfelt voice flows like a river over the well-crafted rhythms. Highly recommended.
Keith & Tex – Same Old Story
The harmonies are tight and many of the cuts have a melancholic feel to them. And the duo covers themes from broken hearts to the refugee crisis in Syria.
Kristine Alicia – Songs From Zion
Kristine Alicia, who is a trained pianist and has released a gospel- inspired reggae album, is a remarkable singer and together with producer Rorystonelove she has created a musical masterpiece.