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Don't buy without listening to samples
on 1 September 2009
This series is a brilliant idea introducing listeners to music from across the world that they are very unlikely to hear anywhere else. But beware - one man's wailing may be another man's great song! I tend to prefer up tempo music and the first CD opens thrillingly with a Tex-Mex rocker El Gatillo by Calexico followed by La Vida Trombola by Manu Chao. The CD cover describes the process of choosing the songs and then says that a running order naturally suggests itself. To my ears this gives a selection of dirges all together on parts of the 2nd CD and I found it very hard listening. No doubt they are all good songs taken in isolation.....but together? The UK selected song is 'Hong Kong' by Gorillaz. Charlie Gillett no doubt revels in his ability to clutch the obscure but I do wonder how much better the selections could have been from other countries if this is presented as the best effort from the UK.
Beauty is in the ear of the beholder and any praise or condemnation of this twin CD will be very much a personal view. I don't think I have ever been so excited by the start of a CD and yet so disappointed by the end. More than most CDs, I think it is wise to listen to samples before deciding whether to splash your cash!