Linval Thompson - Inna De Yard (Makasound)
With the Inna De Yard project led by Soul Syndicate guitarist Earl 'Chinna' Smith, Makasound takes a serious risk. With this third album in the series Makasound surprises by getting Linval Thompson to record an album for the first time in twenty years!
Josie Mel - Rasta Still De 'Bout + Jr. Kelly, Bounty Killer & Capleton - The Good, The Bad & The Blazing (Minor7flat5)
From the first moment one hears the songs on 'Rasta Still De 'Bout' they have a certain familiarity, not surprising maybe when you know producer Andreas 'Brotherman' Christopherson already used a lot of the riddims on this album for albums he did with Anthony B, Luciano and Lutan Fyah.
Manjul - Dub To Mali: Faso Kanou (Humble Ark Records/Bang!)
"French dub master meets Mali blues", would be a nice way to summarize Manjul's 'Dub To Mali: Faso Kanou'.
Beef - Last Rudy Stan D1ng (Pias)
Yours truly will probably never quite get used to the voice of Beef-singer Pieter Both. This personal opinion put aside, 'Last Rudy Stan D1ng' is not an album for true reggae lovers.
10 Ft. Ganja Plant - Bass Chalice (Roir)
The music of this somewhat illustrious American band (no one seems to know exactly who the group members are) begs the use of the plant mentioned in the band's name.
Warrior King - Hold The Faith (VP Records)
Warrior King's previous release already dates back to 2002; the man clearly takes his time to record a new album.
Junior Kelly - Tough Life (VP Records)
'Smile', Junior Kelly's previous release for VP Records left yours truly somewhat indifferent. Two years on, Keith Morgan seems to have pondered on the tracks for 'Tough Life' with a little more intensity.
Dr. Israel - Inna City Pressure (Roir)
'Inna City Pressure' is not a new Dr. Israel album, but a reissue of the original with the addition of a few extra tracks.
Burning Spear - Our Music (Burning Music Production/Nocturne/I Sound)
Winston Rodney, aka Burning Spear is one of the last living reggae icons. In recent years Spear has focused his energy on getting back the rights to his old albums, albums that he now also periodically rereleases on his own Burning Music Production label. On that same label, he now presents his new studio album 'Our Music'.
Dreadzone - Once Upon A Time (Functional Records)
There are albums you just want in your collection for that one song in the track list and Dreadzone's 'Once Upon A Time' is an excellent example.
Sinead O'Connor - Throw Down Your Arms (That's Why There's Chocolate And Vanilla)
Sinead O'Connor goes reggae? Correction: Sinead O'Connor goes Rasta! According to the liner notes accompanying 'Throw Down Your Arms', Sinead recorded the album as a tribute to Jamaican icons like Burning Spear, Lee Perry and Bob Marley, who, through their Rastafari inspired music, helped her face some tough moments.
Willi Williams - Messenger Man (Blood and Fire)
The source of forgotten roots reggae treasures seems to spring eternal. This time Willi Williams' 'Messenger Man' is dusted off and revitalized.
Anthony B - Black Star (Greensleeves)
Anthony B has taken on the goal to spread the message of Rastafari also beyond the borders of the reggae music; his recent 'Unforgettable' album, full of crossover experiments with hip-hop and r&b influences, being a good example of those efforts.
I Wayne - Lava Ground (VP Records)
I Wayne has to be the most hyped Jamaican artist since Sizzla came on the scene and one has to wonder if the end result has been worth all the fuss.
Anthony B - My Hope (Minor7flat5)
Anthony B is a busy-bee. Only weeks after the release of his strong 'Black Star' album on Greensleeves, he surprises us with 'My Hope', released on Minor7flat5, a label to which the expression "small is beautiful" certainly applies.
Michael Rose - African Roots (M Records)
Ryan 'Twilight Circus' Moore's releases are still in great part aimed at a vinyl loving crowd. Consequently Michael Rose's new album 'African Roots' barely counts 10 tracks.
Ranking Joe - World In Trouble (M Records)
What to say about this new Ranking Joe album? Let's keep it short: this is just about the best reggae yours truly has had the pleasure listening to this year! Both fans of the original deejays from the seventies - Ranking Joe is one of the most talented pupils from the stable of U Roy - as well as adepts of heavy UK dub will enjoy 'World In Trouble'.
Nazarenes - Songs Of Life (Heartbeat Europe/Rounder)
A few years ago yours truly stumbled on Prince Malachi's 'Jah Light', released on the Heartbeat Europe label and it's once again the Heartbeat Europe boys who are introducing us to Nazarenes: brothers Noah Isac and Medhane Tewolde, two Ethiopian Rastafarians living in Norway.