Bach's Coffee Cantata BWV 211 & Peasant Cantata BWV 212 are secular and very light. The librettos are innocuous and sometimes silly; however, there's a playfulness and joy of life which redeem them. Bach's music is often glorious and well brings out the play and joy. Reviews I have read of the Tafelmusik recording have been rather unkind, noting that neither Tafelmusik nor the vocal soloists display sufficient charm and joy for the high-spirited moods of the music. I can't deny that Hogwood's vocalists are better than Tafelmusik's. Suzie LeBlanc can't match Emma Kirby for youth or high-spirits, and tenor Nils Brown pales next to Rogers Covey-Crump. However, Brett Polegato is very good in the baritone role. Tafelmusik does present a darker atmosphere than Hogwood, and I'm sure that the reviews have considered that a negative.
J.C. Lodge is the type of artist reggae purists have no use for. As they see it, blending reggae with elements of pop, urban contemporary and dance music in so sleek a fashion only serves to water reggae down. But then, Lodge never claimed to be a purist, and in fact, Tropic of Love is fairly decent. The expressive Lodge has an alluring, sexy quality to her voice that works to her advantage on such sleek pop-reggae offerings as "The Prey," "Why" and the hit "Telephone Love." Most of the material is very 1990s-sounding, but "Come Again" is a pleasant number that, except for some dancehall-minded toasting, recalls the reggae of the '60s (when Jamaican artists were paying very close attention to what the American soulsters of Motown were up to). Also noteworthy is Lodge's cover of Sylvia Robinson's seductive 1973 hit "Pillow Talk." Tropic isn't breathtaking, but it's definitely more soulful and enjoyable than reggae's purists claim.