Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Soca Gold 2014!

"Soca Gold 2014" [VP Records]
1. 'Carnival Tabanca' by Bunji Garlin
2. 'Big People Party' by Farmer Nappy
3. 'BTW [Behaving The Worst]' by Skinny Fabulous
4. 'Come Out  To Play' by Benjai
5. 'Monster Winer' by Kerwin Du Bois & Lil Rick
6. 'To Meh Heart' by 5Star Akil
7. 'Bread' by Ravi B
8. 'Run Away' [Remix] featuring Olatunji by Ki
9. 'Need Ah Riddim' by Biggie Irie
10. 'Done D Party' by Fay-Ann Lyons 
11. 'Somebody' by Patrice Roberts
12. 'Bad Influence' by Nadia Batson
13. 'Last Man Standing' by Edwin Yearwood
14. 'Fete Everyday' by Problem Child
15. 'Shake Dat' by Jo Jo
16. 'Addiction' featuring Imani by Farmer Nappy
17. 'Jah Jah Nation' by Tallpree
18. 'Tun Tun' by Ricardo Drue

With the month of May quickly approaching, with it (as it always does), it will bring the latest installment of Soca music's most well known release, "Soca Gold". Despite a less than stellar (and less than average) year of the music, I was really looking forward to seeing what VP Records came up with, given the rather successful run of Soca music, otherwise. Of course, much of that success can be attributed to Soca lyrics king Bunji Garlin who did and continues to do MASSIVE work with his destructive hit, 'Differentology' (which appeared on "Soca Gold 2013"). Since that album, VP has not only signed Garlin to a deal for his next album (which I am still expecting at some point within the year's first half), but have been promoting him in a major way, most recently via releasing a pre-album EP. 
"Carnival Tabanca" EP by Bunji Garlin
Coincidentally, the name of that EP was "Carnival Tabanca", named after another 2013 hit from Garlin and that tune is his official contribution to "Soca Gold 2014. I fully expected two or three songs here from Garlin, but 'Carnival Tabanca' was excellent. After Garlin's guaranteed participation on this album, I didn't really know what to expect, though I did hope for a bit more in the way of diversity given the fact that "SG2013" was, if I recall correctly, built entirely on the work from out of Trinidad and Barbados, so I was definitely hoping that they changed things up just a bit - and they did. WONDERFULLY making an appearance on "SG2014" is reigning St. Vincy Road March and multiple time Soca Monarch, Skinny Fabulous with what was my favourite song of his from last year and one of my favourites from anyone, the COOL 'BTW'. Skinny's brother, Problem Child, also makes an appearance on the album, as does the always welcomed Tallpree from out of Grenada with 'Jab Jab Nation'. I was also really happy to see a pair of tunes from Farmer Nappy. His biggest winner of 2014, 'Big People Party' (album of the same name, in stores now), is included as is the electric 'Addiction', alongside Imani. Also on board is the remix of 'Run Away' which, in its original form, netted Ki a Chutney Soca Monarch crown this year - the remix features Olatunji. And of course having a "Soca Gold" sans Edwin Yearwood is a sacrilege so the Bajan star is represented well with the solid 'Last Man Standing'. And I was also happy to see another Bajan veteran (and former Trini Groovy Soca Monarch), Biggie Irie, back to the series with the LOVELY 'Need Ah Riddim' from De Red Boyz [BOOM!] (after alllllll of these years, DRB still churning out big tunes).

'Jab Jab Nation' by Tallpree

Still a section right in the middle of "Soca Gold 2014" has really gotten my attention as females take over. Mrs. Bunji Garlin, Fay-Ann Lyons, makes a return to the series with her cut of the Oil Stain Riddim ["MY BEHAVIOUR STINK! MY BEHAVIOUR WELL WRENK!"] [WHAT!] [BOOM!], 'Done D Party'. Patrice Roberts who, as she always seems to do quietly turned in another solid season is also here with the sublime 'Somebody' and Nadia Batson (who was always very attractive but has gotten even more so recently) turns in 'Bad Influence'. And speaking of Batson, though I didn't love the tune, 'Shake Dat', its star, Jo Jo, brings it to the album for her series debut and I believe that Jo Jo is actually Nadia Batson's younger sister. One of them on this album is not big news (Roberts, especially, is a series regular), but to have all three, Lyons, Batson and Roberts on the same album is a big deal for "Soca Gold" and VP Records.
"Soca Gold 2013"
How big?! You can find that out for yourself when "Soca Gold 2014" from VP Records arrives in stores on May 27th.

[Note: As always, nice cover]

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