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Various Artists Soca Gold 2004

Soca Gold 2004 is full of rapid-fire beats that aren't for the faint of heart (or limb). Soca, which came out of calypso, is about island carnival dancing, and that's what kind of inspiration you'll get after listening to this double album set (one disc's mixed, the other not). Even alone, you can almost hear people shouting along to Maximus Dan's "Soca Train" and, despite its softer male vocals, even Blazer's "Stages" eventually surrenders to insistent, syncopated percussion. The swiftly moving mix CD uses the same tracks as the unmixed disc, but its too-long intro and use of sirens is simply annoying. Soca Gold 2004 is raucous, less intended for quiet nights at home than to get you out the door and on your way to the club.

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