10 Best Reggae Albums 2010

Some might tell you reggae is not the same—which actually means not as good since Bob Marley died in the '80s—but the 10 best reggae albums of 2010 are as good this year as they would be any other year. Let's consider some of the wonderful music brought to light in 2010.

  1. Sly & Robbie—"African Roots" This healthy two-CD set presents Sly & Robbie, reggae's best rhythm section. Sure, you've heard them on non-reggae acts like Bob Dylan's music, but nothing is better than the music they make on their own albums as a team.
  2. Toots & The Maytals—"Flip and Twist" Toots Hibbert is one of the world's finest soul singers, reggae or otherwise. It's a joy to hear him still making great music. And make no mistake about it, "Flip And Twist" is an excellent album.
  3. Junior Marvin—"Police & Thieves" Maybe listing this album is cheating because it's a reissue. But to have an expanded Junior Marvin CD is a true gift. You may already know the title cut from The Clash's cover, but by all means, get the original, too.
  4. UB40—"Best of Labour of Love" This collection includes the smash hit, "Red, Red Wine," which, ironically, is Neil Diamond cover. But there's so much more to UB40 than just that. This is a legitimately great reggae group. Don't let their British roots fool you.
  5. Bob Sinclar—"Made In Jamaica" It's with good reason this album was nominated for a Grammy. This is an excellent new release, one that carries on all that's great about reggae traditions.
  6. Buju Banton—"Rasta Got Soul" Technically, this 2010 Grammy nominated album came out in 2009. But it didn't really catch fire until this year. Buju Banton is one of the best modern reggae performers.
  7. Gregory Isaacs—"Brand New Me" It's sad to talk about Gregory Isaacs now since we lost him last year, but his spirit lives on with this fine recent album.
  8. Julian Marley—"Awake" Julian is Bob Marley's son and Ziggy Marley's half-brother. But he's all roots reggae, musically speaking. He's not the first Marley to be nominated for a Grammy and he probably won't be the last.
  9. Stephen Marley—"Mind Control" Another one of those Marleys. But hey, anyone that can do reggae justice to a Doc Pomus song, as Marley does here with "Lonely Avenue," deserves a whole lot of respect.
  10. Sean Paul—"Imperial Blaze" Here, this dancehall superstar keeps the dance music flowing beautifully with a full twenty tracks of music. Dancehall may not be on the pop charts the way it was a few years ago, but that hasn't stopped Sean Paul from keeping the groove going.
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