Mondo Melodia / Ark 21
It is almost impossible to translate the “jump!jump!jump!” good time of a live soca show onto disc. In concert, soca artists have your body doing things you thought impossible and still considered illegal in some states. However, the compilers of Mondo Soca have really put together a good time that entertains and captures the feel-good carnival spirit of the music of Trinidad and Tobago. No, philistines, this is not all steel drums, cabana boys, and carry-me-banana. Soca combines soul and calypso, reggae, rap, and even Latin flavors into a mighty popular elixir. 3 Canal’s ragga soca “Let the Session Begin” is a lot of fun (though a little too reminiscent of Third Bass’ “Jouvert Morning”). There’s the salsa-ed remix of Andre Tanker’s “Wild Indian Band.” Though the rhyming’s a bit too similar to lame-ass Brits, Brother Resistance’s rapso, “Run Yah Run,” is too enjoyable for the faint-hearted. Selwyn Henry does do a sweet steel drum cover of the Rustee and Karla classic, “Maturity.” And, if you want a song that exemplifies all the different influences upon the genre, you have to listen to the rapso remix of the ragga-soca “Never Ever Worry” by the aforementioned Brother Resistance and Pretender. Grab your crotch, wine, and check this disc out for your pan-Carib carnival fest.