Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Coming Soon: Contagious by Tarrus Riley

(Tentative Tracklist)
01.Love's Contagious
02.Human Nature
03.Start A New
04.Young Hearts
05.S Craving
06.Let Peace Reign featuring Duane Stephenson & Etana
07.Man Kind Not Kind
08.Hi Grade Promotion featuring Demarco & Vybz Kartel
09.Stop Watch Yuh Brother
10.Living The Life Of A Gun
11.Good Girl Gone Bad featuring Konshens
12.Super Man

In a few hours the first half of 2009 will be over. With it it will take some very good Reggae releases and leave us to look forward to what the second half brings. Just like the first half, with pieces such as Mavado's sophomore effort, A Better Tomorrow and Queen Ifrica's Montego Bay amongst others apparently and expectedly the second half is buoyed by leading label VP Records who, on August 4th, delivers one of the most anticipated and potentially BIGGEST albums of the year when Tarrus Riley comes with his third studio project, the much anticipated Contagious. Named after a tune currently bubbling over a relick of Bob Marley's Coming In From The Cold riddim, Contagious will seek to (and will succeed at) building on the hype began a VERY short three years ago with the now MASSIVE Parables album which may prove to be one of the most IMPORTANT Reggae albums of recent times, if it isn't already.

Parables was also release by VP Records back in 2006 and it caught FLAMES becoming one of the most popular and commercially successful albums of that year and as it was released on Halloween day 2006, its popularity definitely spread out, making it one of the most popular of the following year as well. Tarrus Riley, the son of longtime SOLID veteran Jimmy Riley aligned himself with MASTER producer/musician/engineer/songwriter/arranger/genius Dean 'Cannon' Fraser and also managed to align himself with the new generation of young Rootsmen/Women including himself, Etana, the aforementioned Queen Ifrica and Duane Stephenson (all of whom are VP artists). The label also, expectedly, picked up the rights to Tarrus Riley's debut release from 2004 Challenges and slapped two new tunes on and re-released it last year.

Now, all eyes turn to the young Riley as the summer is potentially all his with the Contagious album. Judging from the tracklist (if it is in fact the final list and it may not be) there are big things happening here! Of course the two standouts to hear will be the two double combinations, Let Peace Reign alongside the aforementioned Etana & Duane Stephenson and the obvious herbalist tune Hi-Grade Promotion alongside Dancehall heads Vybz Kartel and Demarco (big tune out now name Over & Over, Demarco and Tarrus Riley combination). Riley has remarked that he wanted the album to come in much more 'standard' fashion in terms of making far more newer tunes SPECIFICALLY for Contagious (as he basically did for both of his previous two efforts to my knowledge) as opposed to just bringing together some of the MANY singles he's been doing as of late. Thankfully, he has included at least one very well known previous single, Start A New for Juke Boxx' Nylon Riddim.

One of the most anticipated albums of 2009, Contagious by Tarrus Riley arrives in stores and on digital retailers on August 4th (buy and ten days later wish my happy earthday!). Potentially one of the best albums of the year.

Rated Potential: 5/5 stars
VP Records
Releases on August 4, 2009
{Note: Listening to some bites from it right now. Contagious is SHINING! Can't wait!}

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