The Soca Gold annual compilation from VP Records is always about huge vibes and great times by some of the biggest and some of the not so well-known soca artists from all throughout the Caribbean. It generally covers all forms of the music very well and is always well represented, and I have actually yet to hear an edition of SG which I felt was actually below average.
2005 is absolutely no different and with all the pub that Soca has gotten in the last year (by virtue of posterboys Rupee and Kevin Lyttle) it may prove to be the most popular edition of the series yet.
Luckily, the album itself does not dissapoint at all! There is some really fun material here, from the opening track of soca legend Machel Montano, to the unbelievable stretch of really good songs which closes the album. Montano is the star here, appearing on two of the album's best track, the opener, Madder Dan Dat and the absolute best tune here, a combination with Rikki Jai called Mor-Tor. Mor-Tor is MASSIVE and besides the chilled opening, never really lets you go when it goes to full tilt. Soca Monarch Bunji Garlin is also present more than once, once in a solo, his best effort Right Now and another in a combination with future posterboy Edwin Yearwood on All Aboard 2k5, and finally in a remake of the tune Lorraine with Explainer.
The real story about SG 2K5 however, lies in tracks 11-18. There is some flat out amazing music which closes the album. Besides Mor-Tor is the excellent Sleeping in Your Bed by Michelle Sylvester; the hilarious A Hook by Blackie T; also the beautiful Recurrence by Sanell Dempster, which may or may not be a tribute to late Soca head Onika Bostic who died in 2004, beautiful regardless; and needs to be a future star Blazer, blazing on Crazy Wine which is one of the album's best tunes, he was also in such a position on SG 2K4. From the 1st half of the album, you really have to check Turn Around as well, by Hot Sand.
Overall, I'd definitely stamp a seal of approval on this one and recommend it beyond a normal record. Only thing that disappointed me here was the lack of a tune by Dawg-E-Slaughter or Maximus Dan (and maybe the odd tune Candy, but even that's growing on me). If you at all caught any of the massive soca bug that circled the world in 2004 then you should check out SG 2005, and tell em I sent you.
Bramoi for Trini Jungle Juice
Soca Gold 2005 - Various Artists (VP Records)
Release Date: June 7th 2005
01. Madder Dan Dat - Machel Montano
02. Right Now - Bunji Garlin
03. All Aboard 2K5 - Edwin Yearwood/Bunji Garlin
04. Trombone - Scrunter
05. Body Water - Mini Prest
06. Turn 'Round - Hot Sand
07. Lorraine (Re-Make) - Explainer/Bunji Garlin
08. Is It Me - Sean Caruth
09. See Yuh Gyul - Surface/Tony Prescott
10. All Night Long - Donella Weeks
11. Mor-Tor - Rikki Jai/Machel Montano
12. Sleeping in Your Bed - Michelle Sylvester
13. Ah Hook - Blackie
14. Recurrence - Sanell Dempster
15. Candy - Terry Seals/Journey
16. We Are One - Sexy Tricia/Karma
17. Crazy Wine - Blazer
18. Roll Back On It - Ginja