TOPPA TOP 10: THE BEST CARIBBEAN ALBUMS OF 2017

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6. Busy Signal, Fresh From Yaad EP

Busy Signal - Fresh From Yaad

Didn’t know Busy Signal dropped an EP this year? This one slipped under everybody’s radar, especially since it has all but disappeared from the Internet, and is currently unavailable on Spotify and iTunes/Apple Music. Subscribers to those services were deprived of one of the best reggae/dancehall projects of the year. Fresh From Yaad chocks a trailer load of ideas and fresh approaches to dancehall into a compact, seven-track EP. “Bwoy Full of Chat” is a tribute to Ninjaman, delivered in (what we always thought was) the inimitable style of the Original Front Tooth Gold Tooth Gun Pon Tooth Don Gorgon. (Turns out, Ninja is ‘imitable’!) “Company” recalls Busy’s “Cool Baby,” a skeletal rhythm with a simple, repetitive hook that will have you singing along on first listen. Lyrically, “Dubs” is an archetypal sound bwoy killer, except it’s delivered over a strummed acoustic guitar. The result is a wickedly original tribute to sound system culture. There’s not one weak track here. The only thing wrong with this EP is that no one knows it exists. — Jesse Serwer

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