Wednesday, May 31, 2023

Soca Gold 2023!

"Soca Gold 2023" [VP Records]

1. 'Mood [Road Mix]' featuring KES by Shaggy

2. 'Upgrade' by Fay-Ann Lyons

3. 'Look Back' by Lyrikal

4. 'Gyal Like Rain' featuring Christopher Martin by Farmer Nappy

5. 'Hard Fete' by Bunji Garlin

6. 'Push Back' by Ricky T

7. 'Memory' by Lyrikal 

8. 'Don't Run [Road Mix]' featuring Skinny Fabulous by Shaggy

9. 'The Ambush' by Lyrikal, Lil Natty & Thunda

10. 'Freak' by Imani Ray & Patrice Roberts

11. 'Something In The Water' by Nailah Blackman

12. 'The Return' by Alison Hinds & Voice

13. 'Bottle' by Bunji Garlin

14. 'By D Truck' by Tempa

15. 'Queen's Orders' by Alison Hinds & Patrice Roberts

16. 'Activate' by Preedy

17. 'Post Him' by Rome

18. 'Nothing Better' by Nadia Batson & Romain Virgo

Okay so, perhaps you didn't notice, but the typical run of releases for 2022 was missing a couple of our usual stops along the route. Seemingly each and every year VP Records prepares and delivers what are two of its highest profile compilations, "Reggae Gold" and "Soca Gold" and neither had a representative for last year for some reason, but apparently that was an aberration and not the new norm as 2023 is set to serve up at least half of the duo as "Soca Gold 2023" has recently been announced (and by the time this is posted, I wouldn't be surprised if "Reggae Gold 2023" has been as well). 

Thus far, from strictly a musical side, Soca music has had a damn impressive run in 2023 and the big tunes just continue coming in as we head into the summer as well; and VP has done quite well in assembling a healthy collection of some of the season's brightest gems, including THE brightest. When I initially saw the tracklist of course the fact that "SG23" contained my single favourite tune from of the year and the Trinidad Road March winner, Bunji Garlin's WHOLLY MAMMOTH IN EVERY WAY 'Hard Fete'! That tune, alone, will make this one worth its price of admission. I also noticed the absence of my second favourite tune of the year, 'Come Home' by Skinny Fabulous & Nailah Blackman["I'VE BEEN PATIENT!"] (honestly would have expected that song to be on a "Soca Gold" album, though wonderfully, both Skinny and Blackman are represented here via solid efforts (for her part, Nailah Blackman's 'Something In The Water' is probably considerably better than anyone gave it credit for being). 

Soca royalty, Alison Hinds features on a pair of selections, both combinations, 'The Return' and 'Queen's Orders alongside Voice & Patrice Roberts, respectively. The former is downright rapturous and in the conversation for the second best tune altogether on "SG20203". Also in that discussion would be another personal favourite of mine for 2023, the HUGE 'The Ambush' by Lyrikal, Lil Natty & Thunda. Lyrikal proves to be the star of this edition of the series, bringing forth no less than three selections; and I simply must mention the apparent revelation of "SG2023", Rome, whose tune, 'Post Him', is absolutely delightful. 

Surely it helps that the season has been downright magical, but "Soca Gold 2023" figures to be one of the finest installments of the series in quite some time. Wanna see??? Check it out when it releases on the 16 of June



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