2. Mr. Vegas, Sweet Jamaica
Despite a deep catalog of hits that overshadows most any other dancehall artist in the last 15 years, Mr. Vegas has never really gotten as much respect as an artist as he deserves. There was something missing in his legacy, namely a great album people could point to as a testament to his talent. This year, however, Vegas solidified his place among reggae’s great acts with an album that captured the spirit of Jamaica’s 50th anniversary celebration better than any other recording. His Sweet Jamaica contained an entire disc of new dancehall material including the recent hits “Bruk it Down” and “Party Tun Up,” but the release was all about the other disc, a collection of Jamaican music standards—vintage reggae, ska, festival songs—updated to the times by a pitch-perfect Vegas.