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World Music CD Reviews Reggae & Caribbean

Various Artists
Published July 2, 2007

Jonny Greenwood Is The Controller
Sanctuary/Trojan

Being in a famous rock band apparently gives you special permission to cull through Trojan’s library and pick out your favorites, as Radiohead’s Jonny Greenwood has done on Jonny Greenwood Is The Controller. But giving a celebrity control of the decks doesn’t guarantee listener pleasure: Greenwood’s collection spins more like an iTunes playlist than the work of a roots scholar. Though it starts slowly, the guitarist makes some admittedly great choices with The Heptones’ “Cool Rasta,” Lee Perry’s “Black Panta,” Desmond Dekker’s “Beautiful and Dangerous” and Scotty’s “Clean Race.” Otherwise, though, the collection suffers from poor sequencing, a lack of variety and a general nothing-new-here vibe. Despite The Controller’s association with Radiohead, nothing about these tunes stands out. Surely Trojan has more to offer from its bottomless vaults.