Wednesday, May 19, 2010

'Strictly the Best, Vol. 40' Review (VP)

It’s amazing to think that VP Records ‘Strictly the Best’ series started nearly 20 years ago. Now in its 40th and 41st volumes it is obvious that the annual compilations are, indeed, filled with some of the best songs and artists that modern reggae and dancehall has to offer. The Chin brothers continue to show that they have their fingers directly on the pulse of international reggae and dancehall. What was once a strictly Jamaican compilation has evolved to include the likes of Germany’s prolific singjay Gentleman and with Volume 40, Swedish sensation Million Stylez.

Strictly the Best, Vol.40 focuses on the romantic side of reggae. It is full of lovers rock gems, some with an old-school feel ( Beres Hammond’s ‘No Goodbye’, Bitty McLean’s ‘Fall In Love’, Gappy Rank’s ‘Heaven In Her Eyes’, and Courtney John’s massive hit ‘Lucky Man’.) and others with a decidedly modern touch.(Hezron’s ‘So In Love’, Maikal X’s ‘The Best In You’, Jah Vinci’s neo-soul flavored ‘Baby Girl I Am Alone’, and Million Stylez’ boomshot ‘Me and You’.)
Busy Signal’s cover of Phil Collins’ ‘One More Night’, Queen Ifrica’s ‘Lioness On The Rise’, and John Legend’s remix of ‘Can’t Be My Lover’ featuring Buju Banton are all worthy inclusions.
VP set the trend with ‘Strictly the Best, Vol. 1’ back in 1990 and they have continued the trend with Volume 40. This compilation will more than satisfy both the reggae purist and the new listener. Highly recommended!


Busy Signal - Strictly the Best, Vol. 40

Track Listing:
1. Can’t Be My Lover (Curtis Lynch Remix)- John Legend featuring Buju Banton
2. No Goodbye- Beres Hammond
3. Fall In Love (Rub A Dub Mix) – Bitty McLean
4. So In Love- Hezron
5. Lucky Man- Courtney John
6. Lioness On The Rise- Queen Ifrica
7. Heaven In Her Eyes- Gappy Ranks
8. All In The Name Of Love- Sherieta
9. One More Night- Busy Signal
10. Heart Broken- Etana
11. The Best In You- Maikal X
12. Me and You- Million Stylez
13. Since I’ve Been Loving You- Fiona
14. Good Life- Chuckleberry
15. Under My Skin- Red Roze
16. Baby Girl I Am Alone- Jah Vinci