Various Jah Golden Throne

Various Jah Golden Throne
Zion High Productions has released some of my favourite roots reggae rhythms in recent years. If today's roots sounds involve a constant reconfiguring of Jamaican musical history, from mento to dancehall, Zion High's productions play to the diversity of Jamaican musical culture, with strong doses of soul music and a touch of blues. Veterans and newcomers shine equally, from a getting-better-as-he-get-older Glen Washington to the unstoppably melodic MCing of Jahdan Blakkamoore. With a billion bands around the world trying, and failing, to create or imitate roots rhythms frozen in time from the '70s, Zion High collects a wide range of comforting yet fresh rhythms, which should be obvious to even bantamweight reggae connoisseurs as top notch material. One of the highlights is "Crown I Got" by Toussaint, who, along with Blakkamoore, is one of the most charismatic American reggae singers ever; this song indicates that he may be ready to take it to another level. Fine work all around. (Zion High)