|Recording information: African Museum Studio; Anchor Recording Studio, Kingston, Jamaica; Aviv Studio, Kibbutz Ein Hashofet, Israel; D.B. Studios, Tel Aviv, Israel; Lion Head Studios; Magic Shop; Newave Studios, Tel Aviv, Israel; Studio G, Brooklyn, NY; The Saltmine Studio Oasis.
|This collection of Disney songs performed by reggae artists is bookended by its lesser numbers -- Matisyahu getting overly mystical, Yellowman in poor voice -- but its center is very pleasant and often quite fun. Pick of the litter has to be Steel Pulse bringing their positive charm to the Jungle Book tune "The Bare Necessities," but Morgan Heritage's take on "The Lion Sleeps Tonight" is a very close second and a natural choice too, seeing as how Jamaica's legendary Desmond Dekker had a hit with the tune long before The Lion King. Also worth checking are Toots & the Maytals' spirited and loose "Zip-A-Dee-Doo-Dah" plus the Easy Star All-Stars' "Ev'rybody Wants to Be a Cat," which comes packaged in a clever, playful arrangement. Add Burning Spear sounding absolutely majestic on "Kiss the Girl" and you've got a worthwhile set for the family vacation or a great way to introduce kids to reggae music. After absorbing this one, check the Ras label's 2001 set Reggae for Kids: Movie Classics for more Disney-music-inna-reggae-stylee. ~ David Jeffries