1. Alborosie – Soul Pirate [Forward Recordings 2008]
2. Bob Dylan – Tell Tale Signs: The Bootleg Series Vol. 8 [Sony 2008]
3. Gyptian – I Can Feel Your Pain [VP Records 2008]
4. Half Pint – Essential Roots Anthology [Essential Media Group 2008]
5. Mighty Diamonds – Reggae Legends [Greensleeves 2008]
6. Mr. Vegas – The Hits [Greensleeves 2008]
7. Various Artists – Reggae Anthology Randy’s 50th Anniversary [VP Records 2008]
8. Thievery Corporation – Radio Retaliation [Eighteenth Street 2008]
9. Dub Specialist – Dub [Heartbeat 2008]
10. Lucinda Williams – Little Honey [Lost Highway 2008]
The Italian reggae sensation Alborosie dropped a limited edition of Soul Pirate on the masses this month. The singles “Kingston Town,” “Rastafari Anthem,” “Herbalist,” and “Moonshine” promise to be roots reggae hits. Kymani Marley, Ranking Joe, and Michael Rose all appear on the disc. Marley and Alborosie cover Bob Marley’s “Natural Mystic” while Ranking Joe toasts over “Precious.” This disc is a classic one!
Bob Dylan continues to amaze. On Tell Tale Signs versions of “Mississippi” and “Dignity” give me chills. This new edition of bootlegs covers the more recent work of Dylan, including the beautiful tracks laid down by producer Daniel Lanois.
VP Records released Randy’s 50th Anniversary, which offers some excellent Jamaican reissues, including tracks from Lord Creator, Cornell Campbell, Baba Brooks, The Skatalites, the late great Alton Ellis, Peter Tosh, Bob Marley, The Ethiopians, Don Drummond, The Maytals, Roland Alphonso, Count Machukie, and many more.
Thievery Corporation’s new album Radio Retaliation mashes reggae, dancehall, dub, international, and electronica music with a revolutionary spirit. Several vocalist appear over the thickly layered world beats, including Sleepy Wonder, Seu Jorge, Femi Kuti, Anushka Shankar, Jana Andevska, Lou Lou, Notch, and Chuck Brown. I especially like the reggae-laced tracks, “Sound the Alarm,” “Radio Retaliation,” and “Blasting Through the City.” Also “El Pueblo Unido” is a powerful song driven by Latin rhythms and bold lyrics.