Various Artists - Our Favorite Beres Hammond Songs 

Beres Hammond is the king of lover's rock, and this double disc brings it all home

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Various Artists - Our Favorite Beres Hammond Songs
VP Records

In the world of reggae, it's universally acknowledged that Jamaican crooner Beres Hammond is the king of lover's rock. His is one of the most romantic and recognizable voices in all of Jamaican music. So of course the VP Records folks announced they wanted to honor Hammond by enlisting some of reggae's best known and most talented artists to each sing they're favorite tune by the 55-year-old crooner. Not surprisingly, this double disc's a mixed bag of spot-on imitations and misfires that still work on strength of the songwriting. Powerful Jamaican/Chinese singer Tessanne Chin leads with "Step Aside," which is vocally great but marred by spotty production. Getting dancehall standout Busy Signal to cover the classic "Tempted to Touch" is a solid idea, but Signal can't actually sing! Otherwise Tarrus Riley's "Groovy Little Thing" hits the hardest, Jah Cure's cover of "Emptiness" is pristine and the Richie Stephens medley brings everything home.

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