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Give me music and give me noise....

Saturday, 9 April 2016

Brace yourself: here's the worst reggae collection of all time

I've previously railed against meagre music selections on long-haul flights, and here I am again with another thrilling instalment.

On the one hand it obviously doesn't matter in the slightest. Anyone with even a passing interest in music is probably going to have a few tunes on their phone or whatever, so why bother complaining? True. But then again ...

Given that big airline companies go to the trouble of serving up music on these flights (presumably because their market research shows a demand), it's only right that I have a go at criticising their efforts. Right?

Anyway, as we begin our descent into New York City and the captain asks that we refrain from any further walking in the cabin aisle, I want to ask: what the hell is this nonsense I'm currently listening to courtesy of Delta Airlines? The nonsense in question is a compilation called Reggae World. Here's what's on it:

1: Althea and Donna, Uptown Top Ranking (Extended Version)
2: Bryan Art, Rock And Come In
3: The Orb, Fussball
4: The Skatalites, Ska Ba
5: Adrian Sherwood, Trapped Here
6: Soundsci, Rastaman
7: Clinton Fearon, On The Other Side
8: Tessanne Chin, Firework
9: Dub Trio, Screaming At The Sea
10: Earl Sixteen, Trials And Crosses

And that's it. Yep, a whole ten songs are on offer (they really searched high and low for the very best reggae tunes all around the world there, didn't they?). Meanwhile, what tiresome dross is this anyway? Leaving aside Althea and Donna's excellent Uptown Top Ranking (which presumably only got selected because it was a big crossover pop hit in the UK charts in 1978) the remainder are ... either terrible, or just mediocre.


Well no, the Earl Sixteen is a reasonable effort (a mid-tempo vocal skank with some quirky whistle-like sound-effects and a creakily experimental feel to its latter stages), but nothing very mind-blowing. But bloody hell, the rest. Half of them aren't even vaguely reggae songs at all. The Orb? The Tessanne Chin offering? - it's some bog-standard, big-voiced pop-soul "anthem" thing. The Skatalites tune is a Mexican mariachi effort played over a ska shuffle (vaguely interesting perhaps). I could go on ...

All in all this is possibly one of the worst faux-reggae collections ever cobbled together. It's insultingly short and consists mostly of plodding non-entities. Weirdly enough, it actually appears in Delta's genre sections as "Caribbean", like they couldn't even bring themselves to use the word reggae. And needless to say, there isn't anything else whatsoever in this so-called Caribbean section. We're dealing with the most token of token offerings here.

To cap it all, dear reader, I want you to know that the Delta player thing has a ridiculously low volume setting. Even at full blast you can barely hear the tinny-sounding stuff you've foolishly tried to listen to (a blessing in disguise it turns out).

No, I think it's time to switch off, stow away my table, and BRACE BRACE BRACE ...

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