top 10 reggae albums of 2009. United Reggae critic Angus Taylor lists his 10 favourite albums of the year and the reasons why... #10 - Alborosie - Escape From Babylon The mastering on this album was horrible (desperate to make it sound “heavy” on the crappiest of stereos) and Alborosie’s “no one understands me” shtick got a little wearing at times, but this was a more unified album than debut 'Soul Pirate' where every track complemented the next. #9 - Lutan Fyah - Justice One for the heavy dub-heads. Lutan’s collaboration with US production house Philadub wasn’t big on melody or subtlety but was a return to the Lutan Fyah of old. #8 - Soothsayers Meet The Red Earth Collective - One More Reason Not strictly a reggae album but the boys and girls most roots and dub focused yet. Great tunes, great cameos (particularly from Mellow Baku) and a pebble smooth mix from Manasseh finally resulted in a record that captured Soothsayers’ brilliant live shows 100%. #7 - Buju Banton - Rasta Got Soul It’s been a year or considerable ups and downs for Buju Banton. The upside was the release of this long shelved roots piece. The odd production dud and a few too many tracks left it shy of perfection but this was the only deserved winner on the 2009 Grammy list. #6 - Chezidek & Sly & Robbie - I Grade Chezidek’s vocals aren’t for everyone but a collaboration with Sly & Robbie was always going to be special. Modern roots and culture to match 2007’s 'Inna Di Road' but with better love songs. What’s not to like? #5 - Tarrus Riley - Contagious Some people found this record too poppy – but that was clearly its intention. Tarrus and Dean Fraser made a record that was as much in thrall to Quincy Jones and Stevie Wonder as to Bob Marley. Jamaican roots music lives on. #4 - Lloyd Brown - For Your Consideration After the experimental, introspective Brownie Points, the most vital force in UK reggae returned with a real crowd pleaser. Featuring an archeological dig of old rhythms reworked, this could be Lloyd’s best ever album – if only all the others weren’t so good! #3 - Perfect - French Connection 2008’s 'Born Dead With Life' was a shoe-in for album of that year. This time the competition was stiffer but he still delivered. Sags just a little towards the end but the best tunes on this were stronger than anything else in 2009. #2 - Pressure - Coming Back For You Even the rock-based tracks made sense on this totally harmonious late entry to the year’s best. Financed by Pressure and producer Dean Pond, this lyrically and musically assured record proved 'Love & Affection' wasn’t all about Don Corleon’s rhythms. #1 - Queen Ifrica - Montego Bay This list has been very male dominated but the top spot bucks the trend. It’s tempting, when so many dismiss Jamaican roots music, to give this its position out of some misguided sense of parity, but it’s the forward thinking nature of the rhythms (from a variety of producers yet astutely ordered) that seals the deal. No concessions to European notions of orthodoxy, nor unquestioning devotion to the one drop. All hail the Queen.