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Nat Geo Amazon Sampler

July 27, 2010 | Format: MP3

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Song Title Artist
Time
Popularity Prime  
30
1
3:29
30
2
4:15
30
3
3:57
30
4
3:56
30
5
4:08
30
6
4:17
30
7
4:21
30
8
3:17
30
9
3:49
30
10
3:15
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This MP3 set brings together two songs each from five bands on the National Geographic label. If you didn't know National Geographic had a label, get in line. I'm sure there are plenty of us out there. But judging by this sampler, they are doing some good stuff -- except for the first track, which in my view is really pretty bad.

The main nit I would pick is that the label seems to be positioning itself in "world music", but the bands here are all strictly rich-world groups -- based in places like Paris, New York or Madrid. No Africa- or South America-based music here. That being said, the bands here are all good at bringing a fusion of "world music" sensibilities with US or European tastes and production values.

The first two songs are from Bibi Tanga and the Selenites, who are based in Paris, although Bibi Tanga is from Bangui in the Central African Republic. The band says of itself that it is attracted to "groove in all its shapes". But judging by the first track, some shapes might be better left alone. It sounded, to my admittedly old-fashioned tastes, like a bad disco nightmare, a bad Rick James knockoff, sung in a falsetto à la Eddie Murphy's "Roxanne" in "48 Hours". The second track is a great improvement -- the falsetto is still there, but it works much better.

The second two tracks are by DePedro, a Madrid-based band -- which you can hear in their in their Spanish accents when they sing. For my tastes, these are the best songs on the collection. The first, "Comanche" has great slide guitar riffs and a funky rhythm, while the second is good laid back track with xylophone and a banjo riff to kick off. The band's lyrics are really pretty good and add to the music.
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Samplers are dangerous- you either get something that will go out in the next yard sale (if you still buy discs) or you get something that compels you to spend even more money collecting the albums and artists presented.

This National Geographic sampler is the latter. I had no idea that National Geographic had a record label (it's sort of like discovering 'radio pictures' with NPR), but that has been quickly corrected. I'm a fan.

The offerings here are two cuts from five different artists. All of them are excellent quality, and each has its own kind of 'hook'. With Bibi Tanga, I thought I'd put on an old Parliament album, but I was quickly pulled into the African flavor of funk these tracks presented. The first track was the only questionable one- more for its recording quality than its musical content- it was on the verge of breaking up at a few points due to improper mixing. Otherwise, the selections presented were interesting and definitely keepers.

I'm a big fan of various dance music genres, and the feral dance-funk of the Balkan Beats got my attention quickly. Hearing Eastern European musical styles and instruments set to Western dance rhythms (ableit played on tribal style drums) is always an attention getter.

All in all, it's a great taste of an interesting label.
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I really wanted to read this book, it is one I have looked forward to reading on the new Kindle Fire with Amazon Prime, too, that my children gave me for this past Christmas (2012). BUT, since, even WITH Amazon Prime, I was told by Amazon customer service that I am only allowed one FREE download book and ONE PER MONTH on the book from the LENDING LIBRARY per MONTH. I read Moby Dick in one sitting.

Wish I could have read it. Sad that Amazon sold me and my children a bill of goods. So when I wanted to return the Kindle Fire, I found out that I would be charge a fee of 30 (thirty) PERCENT of the value of my Kindle Fire and forget about returning the leather cover. Not a chance of returning that leather cover.
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Balkan Beat Box makes this compilation worthwhile!! I first heard them on another free Amazon compilation (Jdub Presents: Wild Peace), and was immediately impressed with them. I was surprised and again very pleased with their music! It is truly world music, and it is truly hip hop. There is no compromising on either genre of music. It is the perfect blend, and it really gets your but moving. If you like blending of musical genres, just try this compilation, if only for Balkan Beat Box.

I completely disagree with one reviewer who said that the 1st song was ok and the rest were crap, cuz i feel just the opposite. The first 2 songs could have been left off...
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I was suprised to find such an interesting grouping of music on this soundtrack. I fell in love with a lot of the music. There was maybe one or two songs I did not care for, but hey, its free.
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National Geographic released GREAT World music in the 1970-80's. This is a disgrace coming from that once fine organization. Garbage!
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