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March 3, 2008 | by  | in Music |
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Womad NZ 2008 Compilation Cd

Having just got back from three months in Europe (with no way of adding songs to my iPod), my music had adopted a distinctly tired and stagnant feel.

So when WOMAD 2008 was thrust into my hands to review, it couldn’t have been timed better. The refreshing compilation showcases artists performing at this year’s WOMAD music, art and dance festival in Taranaki. The album and the festival are truly ‘global’, with music seemingly from every region of the planet. Alongside artists from the West, such as Beirut, Mavis Steeple, and New Zealand’s own Kora and SJD, are acts such as Japan’s Joji Hirota, Israel’s David D’Or, Romanian, West African and Peruvian musicians.

Because of the diversity of genres featured, there really is something for everyone. Unfortunately, lots of people seem turned off by the idea of ‘World’ music. Music that sits outside the confines of the traditional Western approach is just as good, but this notion may be too difficult for some to stomach. It’s more as if people are put off because this music is so dissimilar to what we have been exposed to. I can understand that. It’s pretty intimidating prowling the aisles of Wellington Library’s ‘World’ section looking for something fresh. Where do you start? Although I’ve always been interested in ‘World’ music, actually sitting down and forcing yourself to sit through a whole album by some obscure African vocalist is not easy. But that is the beauty of the WOMAD compilation. The variation assures that if you hate one song (which I did, there is some shit on here), you know the next song will be vastly different. I’d be very surprised if there weren’t at least three songs on the album that everyone could love (whether or not enjoying three of 16 songs is reason enough to buy the album). On the whole, this album is a great compilation featuring some brilliant songs, and if your music is starting to feel a bit worn, I really recommend it.

Rating: 6.5/10

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