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Top 10 World Music CDs

February , 2008

By Tom Pryor

Ticklah vs. Axelrod
Easy Star Records

Soul power lives on thanks to Brooklyn multi-instrumentalist Victor Axelrod. Hardworking and prolific, and a founding member of Antibalas and Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings, Axelrod is an in-demand session musician who added analog soul flavor to both Lilly Allen and Amy Winehouse’s records. He’s also a formidable reggae musician—a thread that stretches back to his days in old-school New York ska outfit The Boilers and all the way up to his current work with the Easy Star All-Stars. But even this impressive resumé wasn’t enough to prepare people for the scorcher of a solo record he released this year. Heavy dub, righteous roots and rollicking ska—with amazing reggaefied arrangements of a pair of Willie Colón salsa classics thrown in for good measure—all interlock to make this the record that’s on every hipster and rootsman’s iPod from the BK to JA.