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World Music CD Reviews Reggae & Caribbean

Various Artists

By Matt Scheiner
Published August 23, 2007

Serious Times
Ghetto Arc/XL

Serious Times offers a snapshot of today’s leading superstars. The collection, produced by Brooklyn-based writer Knox Robinson, who picked up these 45s in local shops, verifies that the amount of talent being produced by the island is unmatchable—Serious Times features I Wayne, Rob Symeonn, Gyptian, Nitty Kutchie and Tony Curtis. Disc One features a continuous mix by NYC’s Federation Sound, muddled by rooster cries, stadium sounds and dancehall airhorns. Disc Two, a collection of the individual songs, is much more enjoyable, each flowing into the next without a DJ’s help. I Wayne’s “Living in Love,” Rob Symeonn’s “Chosen One,” QQ’s “Poverty” (he’s an extremely talented nine-year-old), and Nitty Kutchie’s version of Akon’s “Ghetto” are the highlights of the collection.