German reggae superstar Gentleman has put out eight albums and after 20 years it’s time for a best of set titled The Selection. The deluxe CD version comes with a whopping 43 cuts, while the digital “only” includes 38.
Gentleman’s status in the reggae community has over the years been cemented through a broad variety of collaborations, and the album showcases combinations with artists such as Ky-Mani Marley, Christopher Martin, Shaggy, Tanya Stephens, Terry Linen, Barrington Levy, Alborosie and Marcia Griffiths.
But the most interesting collaborations are two new ones. And these two are only available on this album. I’m talking about Ovaload with dancehall giant Sean Paul and Imperfection with soul singer Aloe Blacc.
Gentleman’s sound has in recent years started to lean more towards harmless pop and several of the tracks on The Selection are very radio friendly and might best be described as arena reggae. It’s upbeat, yet soft, smooth, yet dramatic. This is not necessarily a bad thing and a song like the Shaggy combination Warn Dem is pure brilliance with its call and response chorus and urgent rhythm.