Tag Archives: Nas & Damian Marley

Reggaemani’s best albums in 2010

So, now it’s time for the best albums in 2010. And I think that it has been a rather good year. Much better than 2009.

This year saw releases from several acclaimed Jamaican artists. Capleton dropped his first album in six years and Junior Kelly put out his first in five years. Both were for me a bit disappointing, especially the Capleton set that was way too soft.

There were some major debut albums though, from the likes of Gappy Ranks, Mighty Howard, Romain Virgo and Toussaint.

The above mentioned albums are mainly roots, and on the dancehall album front it has been very quiet for years, as dancehall still obviously relies on the singles market or one riddim albums.

For me, the best albums in 2010 weren’t produced in Jamaica. They’ve been created in Europe or in the U.S. This shows that the trend continues – artists from Jamaica and music from overseas.

In 2011 I’m hopeful about the new albums from veteran singer Alpheus and debutants Protoje and Mellow Baku. I also believe that Franz Job can produce a great follow-up to his wicked debut Babylon is Dead from last year.

Below are the ten albums that I’ve enjoyed the most this year.

10. Romain Virgo – Romain Virgo
Impressive debut from this 20 year old singing sensation. Watch out Beres Hammond and Sanchez.

9. Nas & Damian Marley – Distant Relatives
Maybe the best attempt to combine hip-hop and reggae ever.

8. Earl Zero – And God Said to Man
Showcase album produced by Roberto Sánchez. Earl Zero certainly still knows how to choose great riddims.

7. Luciano – Write My Name
Impressive second set in 2010.

6. The Tamlins – Re-birth
This harmony trio sounds like it did in its prime. It’s produced by Alborosie and Clifton “Specialist” Dillon. Sounds like Sly & Robbie in the early 80’s.

5. Toussaint – Black Gold
Singer Toussaint shows how to combine reggae and soul.

4. Chezidek – Judgement Time
Showcase album with some wicked tunes. Only one drop riddims played with live instruments.

3. Apple Gabriel – Teach Them Right
Apple Gabriel is back with a blast. A very personal album with some very well crafted riddims. Also in showcase style.

2. Luciano – United States of Africa
Frenchie has produced Luciano’s best album in the 21st century.

1. Clinton Fearon – Mi Deh Ya
Veteran singer that hopefully will continue to produce great music for many years. Not a dull or weak moment.

4 Comments

Filed under Columns

Nas steals the show

After the Swedish Hultsfred festival bankruptcy last week, most of the artists were scattered in the wind. But the bankrupt festival’s best booking – Nas and Damian Marley – went to Stockholm and Gröna Lund.

Damian Marley’s father was on the same stage 30 years ago and played a record audience of about 32.000. When Nas and Damian Marley enters the stage on their first joint visit it’s not quite as many. But that doesn’t prevent the distant relatives from tearing down the place together with a live band, two backing singers and a flag waving rasta for almost two hours.

They kick start the show with As We Enter, the best track from their joint effort and live it becomes even more powerful. And the up-tempo tunes are the best, for example Nah Mean, where they get into a mean groove, or in Dispear, where the duo gets the whole crowd jumping up and down to a hardcore dancehall beat.

In addition to songs from the Distant Relatives album, Nas and Damian Marley does medleys of their own material. Nas does two such sessions, while Damian Marley only does one. And that’s symptomatic for the evening. This turns out to be Nas show.

He performs his own material with fierce intensity and in their joint performances it’s Nas that shines the most. Damian Marley disappears next to Nas. He’s timid and seems shy as he stands in front of thousands of fans. But sometimes he shines, for example in hit song Welcome to Jamrock and in the Bob Marley cover Could You Be Loved, which is performed in a furious pace. The whole crowd has their hands in the air and when Nas enters into the song it explodes.

The duo certainly made a powerful performance. But it was Nas show. From beginning to end.

——————————–

Interested in knowing what other critics thought about the concert? Those who reads Swedish can check out Dagens NyheterSvenska Dagbladet, Expressen and Aftonbladet.

3 Comments

Filed under Reviews