As the way people listen to music continues to change, and an entire generation of new listeners grows up knowing nothing but customizable playlists, making great albums is increasingly written off as a lost art. This is particularly true in genres like soca and dancehall, where the emphasis has always been on making singles as opposed to longform LPs. Great artists, however, know that nothing cements a legacy quite like an classic full-length album that envelops you from start to finish. A small handful of these came out of the Caribbean this year, and a few solid runners-up worthy of consideration.
Here’s our picks for the best albums from across the reggae/dub/dancehall/soca/reggaeton spectrum in 2014.
*Albums are presented in Soundcloud streams where available, and Spotify streams in all other cases (Users must have Spotify account to play).