REGGAE GOLD 2003 (VP/Virgin) Rating: NNN Rating: NNN
With the heat buckling pavement and the air thick and dirty, dancehall seems like the obvious summer soundtrack. Considering how difficult it is to stay on top of the latest single releases, compilations like Reggae Gold 2003 are great ideas, but the volatile nature of contemporary reggae means that they only stay current for weeks at best. If you're buying now, this is the set to have, with system-rattling cuts like Sean Paul's Get Busy, Beenie Man's explosive Row Like A Boat and Elephant Man's Pon De River, Pon De Bank. A turn toward lovers rock midway through doesn't upset the party. Even better is the accompanying mixed CD.