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Reggae Is for Lovers This Valentine’s Day

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If you like slow jams and reggae, VP Records and Greensleeves Records have a three new albums to get you and your special someone into the reggae-inspired mood.

First up is Greensleeves’ Songs for Reggae Lovers 3, a two-disc set of romantic R&B-inspired reggae. The best tracks, like Sugar Minott’s “Good Thing Going” or Dennis Brown’s “Love Has Found It’s Way” reference both classic soul and roots reggae. Not every song gets it right; Gappy Rain’s Auto-Tuned “The Rain” and Gyptian’s “Beautiful Lady” borrow the soulless, synthetic production techniques of contemporary R&B, and there are several songs on here that have the feel of smooth jazz. Reggae fans hoping for roots romance will be disappointed, but if you are looking for island slow jams, Songs for Reggae Lovers 3 is worth a listen.

Reggae/R&B/gospel singer Sanchez has several songs on Songs for Reggae Lovers 3. He has also just released Now and Forever, his 29th or 30th album. It contains 14 tracks of smooth reggae/R&B. He sounds a little like Chris Brown with a reggae rhythm. It’s a bit saccharin, but well-produced and heartfelt. The combination of his earnest tenor, the lyrics about love and longing, and the exotic reggae lilt could be the perfect mood-setter for your romantic evening.

If those two CDs don’t sate your need for bedroom reggae, then VP’s Covers for Reggae Lovers might. It contains sixteen reggae takes on pop, country, and rock love songs. It ranges from Janet Kay’s take on Rhianna’s “Take A Bow,” to Luciano’s stabs at Kenny Rogers’ “Through the Years” and One Third’s version of Foreigner’s “I Wanna Know What Love Is.” I’m not sure Bobby Kray’s version of “Crazy” qualifies as a love song, but it’s on here as well. For the most part, these are cheesy reggae covers of cheesy pop songs. If you ever wondered what Aerosmith’s schmaltzy “I Don’t Want to Miss A Thing” would sound like with a reggae riddim, now you know. I wouldn’t advise putting this on if you are dating a music snob, but if your special someone loves cheesy love songs, this album will be an effective aphrodisiac.

Roots fans might not be convinced by Songs for Reggae Lovers 3, Now and Forever, or Covers for Reggae Lovers, but fans of slow jams and reggae will want to listen to these three albums. They offer a different take on the standard sappy love song, and will bring some island warmth to your Valentine’s Day.

About Patrick Taylor