Saturday, April 16, 2011

Album Review: Various Artists – Ghetto Arc Presents Serious Times (2006)


Serious Times is one of the more mainstream post-millennium Reggae compilations on the market, and as such it represents an ideal sampler for anyone wishing to become more familiar with recent period flavours – be they of the Roots, One Drop, or Dancehall variety.

We get two CDs with essentially the same stuff on each – the first CD being an exclusive dubplate mix (by Federation Sound) with the second giving us the actual singles and split track versions.

Featuring the likes of Turbulence, Sizzla, Gyptian, Morgan Heritage, Richie Spice, Fantan Mojah, and Perfect, alongside others, it provides for a decent enough overview of what was happening within the genre (and an ever-increasing number of sub-genres) during 2006, and more generally over recent years. It all makes for a pretty good listen along the way, and for me the Roots-orientated numbers (like Rob Symeonn’s ‘Chosen One’ and Sizzla’s ‘Ain’t Gonna Fall’) provide the main highlights.

Other highlights include Gyptian’s title-track (so good we get three mixes), the two mixes of Turbulence’s ‘Notorious’, Morgan Heritage with ‘Wall Of Babylon’, Nitty Kutchie with ‘Ghetto’, and Nanko’s soulful and ultimately quite beautiful ‘Lucky You’.

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