1. Cutty Ranks – Reggae Anthology: Limb By Limb [VP Records 2008]
2. Serani – The Future (Doh!) 
3. Girl Talk – Feed the Animals [Illegal Art 2008]
4. Randy Newman – Harps and Angels [Nonesuch 2008]
5. Joe Gibbs & Errol Thompson – Reggae Anthology: Scorchers from the Mighty Two [VP Records 2008]
6. Randy Travis – Around the Bend [Warner Brothers 2008]
7. Eleven Hundred Springs – Country Jam [Palo Duro Records 2008]
8. Culture – Culture & the DeeJay’s at Joe Gibbss [VP Records 2008]
9. Old 97’s – Blame It on Gravity [New West 2008]
10. Luke Doucet – Blood’s Too Rich [Six Shooter Records 2008]
Cutty Ranks, the original dancehall ragamuffin, slays deejays with his rough, raw, and precise rhymes on songs like “A Who Seh Me Dun,” “Gunman Lyrics,” “Stopper,” and “Limb by Limb.” But also the boss deejay turns out to be quite the lady killer, toasting over reggae crooners, such as Dennis Brown, Marcia Griffiths, Beres Hammond, and Wayne Wonder, and making panties wet from Oisten, Barbados to Austin, Texas.
On a trip to Barbados and St. Vincent and the Grenadines I found myself listening to the new dancehall sensation Serani. His album The Future (Doh!) assembles some of the newest hits, including “She Loves Me” and “Doh” featuring ragga general Bugle. Since I was with my lady I found the song “She Loves Me” perfectly sensual for afternoon romps. Jah blessed Young Island on St. Vincent and the Grenadines and Serani and the sunset made for a perfect romantic setting. Serani played on the local radio stations in the Caribbean, blazing up digicel’s hot caribbean 30, but also country music emanated from the radios in the Grenadines. Randy Travis was a favorite among local sail boat captains and cooks. Truly country music is global and the people of the Caribbean respect its soulful sounds.
Singer-songwriter Randy Newman took time off from producing timeless movie soundtracks to drop a new album and to unleash a timeless criticism of the current administration. Newman sings in “A Few Words in Defense of Our Country:”
A President once said,
“The only thing we have to fear is fear itself”
Now it seems like we’re supposed to be afraid
It’s patriotic in fact and color coded
And what are we supposed to be afraid of?
Why, of being afraid
That’s what terror means, doesn’t it?
That’s what it used to mean
And then Newman brings it home:
The end of an empire is messy at best
And this empire is ending
Like all the rest
Like the Spanish Armada adrift on the sea
We’re adrift in the land of the brave
And the home of the free
Goodbye. Goodbye. Goodbye.
Randy Newman you have got a friend in me!