Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Various - Ready When You Ready

Various - Ready When You Ready

This is the second edition of a series of Rub a Dub sounds re-released by the UK label SMUGG RECORDS. Where other labels who specialized themselves in re-releasing Reggae tend to lean more towards the more Rootsy Reggae from the 70's, this label also acknowledges the quality and timelessness of Jamaican dancehall music. Rub a Dub music, as early dancehall was called, is the keyword for this album. An album containing 19 tracks with a total length of 66:05. A compilation, with an impressive line-up: Don Carlos, Frankie Paul, Gregory Isaacs, Horace Andy, Johnny Clarke, and many more. All tracks are highly danceable, and show the many sides of Rub a Dub as well. Some tracks are mixed heavily in Dub style, with long parts of drum and bass, some are programmed, or a combination. And even the most stiff-necked haters of programmed music would admit, that in the majority of tracks the singing is simply beautiful. Specially nice are the openings track (Danny Vergo - Champion Sound), the well-known Don Carlos track Mr. Big Man and Barry Brown's Next Door Girl. And not all tracks a voiced by singers, Danny Dread's Ginal Girl is a nice example of some rub a dub toasting ("Reggae Rapping").

Do I have only positive things to say? Well, in general, yes. It's a really good compilation of tunes. Ofcourse, not all tracks could move me. The amount of albums that deserve the three star "All Killer No Filler" mark are not many anyway so that wouldn't make this album exceptionally. But for those who like to dance on Rub a Dub tunes: this album is recommended for your collection. And it would also serve as an introduction to this style of music to your friends.

All in all, this album is the one you play hard at parties, most of the tracks will make people jump up for some heavy skanking. And don't let the cover art make you think that it's only love-songs on the album, as there's a significant portion of conscious lyrics on the compilation.

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