Various ‘Miss Lilys Family Style Vol. 1’ (VP) 3/5

The Miss Lilys in question is a restaurant specialising in Caribbean cuisine in Manhattan, New York, and a venue in which reggae music is regularly played over the air waves. Hence the idea to put together a selection of the kind of Jamaican (and other) singers that are revered here. If the first part of the compilation holds together well, the quality does dip slightly further on. Britain’s very own Gappy Ranks offers the excellent ‘Pumpkin Belly’ and one looks forward to more songs in this vein from him. A melodic roots song is in order from Sizzla on ‘Just one of those things’ and it is refreshing to hear some real instruments accompanying plus some lush female harmonies. A reprise of Delroy Wilson’s ‘Bonafide love’ from Buju Banton featuring Wayne Wonder combines old and new to good effect. On the minus side, ‘Oreiginal Dancehall’ by Taurus Riley is something of a disappointment and over-produced. Perhaps in future a more classic choice of songs might be in order. Tim Stenhouse

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