This unique compilation project brings together the legendary musicians of the Buena Vista Social Club & some of today's most popular music stars Chris Martin (Coldplay), Dido, Franz Ferdinand, Sting, Bono, Radiohead among others, performing collaborations of some of their classic hits. The project is a Charity based release through the registered Artist Project Earth (APE) charity (which will allow individual territories to select there own local benefactor) the monies of which are to go to disaster victims and will be paid directly from APE to you local benefactor.
Created as a benefit project for Artists' Project Earth, an organization devoted to protecting the environment, reversing climate change, and tendering disaster relief, this compilation pairs Western pop stars (U2, Sting, Artic Monkeys, et al) and their hits with all-new arrangements performed by members of Cubas Buena Vista Social Club plus other Havana-based talent. The overall effect is of a well-meaning but not entirely simpatico
mutual admiration society. Coldplay's "Clocks" is a good example; the lead vocal is coolly lethargic, engulfing the spiky crags of the rhythm section like syrup on a waffle. But then, most of the singers sound strangely unconnected to the frisky 1-2-3/1-2 of the clavé
beat. The contrast between the two groups of players could have been bracing, and to many ears it perhaps will be, but most of the time, they seem to transmitting from parallel universes. Not surprisingly, the best tracks are those in which hometown icons are left to do what they do best. But the late, great Ibrahim Ferrer's marvelous interpretation of "As Time Goes By" (his final recording) and Omara Portuondo's wistful yet powerful cover of "Killing Me Softly" only serve to further showcase whats amiss with the rest of the album. --Christina Roden