Words by Jesse Serwer—
Mr. Vegas‘ Sweet Jamaica isn’t out until Feb. 21 but it’s already shaping up to be one of the year’s most significant reggae albums. Trust us: the LP, which sees the dancehall hitmaker revisiting reggae music’s roots to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Jamaica’s independence, is going to be the record that cements Vegas’ place among Jamaica’s all-time great artists—if he’s not in that echelon already. The album has a timeless, classic sound, thanks to roots-y originals recorded with the C-Sharp band and covers of classics like Alton Ellis’ “You’ve Made Me So Very Happy” and Toots and the Maytals’ “Sweet and Dandy” (and a version of the Beatles’ reggae-inspired “Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da”). And for those of you who prefer to hear Vegas in dancehall mode, he’s got you covered, too: the set also includes a second disc with recent hits like “I Am Blessed” and “Bruk it Down,” among some brand-new bashment tunes as well.
As well as the album artwork, seen here at the top of this page for the very first time, Vegas has given us three Sweet Jamaica tunes to exclusively premiere on LargeUp: the “Johnny You Too Bad”-inspired “Say Yuh Bad,”; the cover of “Sweet and Dandy”; and the uplifting closing track, “Above the Water.” Stream the tunes below, and check back here soon for more from Vegas and Sweet Jamaica.
[audio:http://largeup.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/01/13-Say-Yuh-Bad-Mr.-Vegas-Sweet-Jamaica-Album-RAINEPR.mp3|titles=13 Say Yuh Bad – Mr. Vegas – Sweet Jamaica Album – RAINEPR]
“Say Yuh Bad”
[audio:http://largeup.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/01/14-Sweet-Dandy-Mr-Vegas-Sweet-Jamaica-Album-RAINEPR.mp3|titles=14 Sweet & Dandy – Mr Vegas – Sweet Jamaica Album – RAINEPR]
“Sweet and Dandy”
[audio:http://largeup.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/01/16-Above-the-Water-Mr.-Vegas-Sweet-Jamaica-Album-RAINEPR.mp3|titles=16 Above the Water – Mr. Vegas – Sweet Jamaica Album – RAINEPR]
“Above the Water”