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Putumayo continues its exploration of new sounds by collecting tracks from a variety of DJs, producers and musicians who may have started out as bedroom producers but have transmitted themselves far beyond the confines of those four walls. A New Groove features high-powered performances by a bevy of musicians from across the globe. The album gains its balance with other artists who step in to help cool down the pace including France's newest sensation Jehro and Australia's latest success story The Cat Empire, lend their sensibilities and expertise to round out this eclectic collection of artists.
For their latest excursion into the arch, increasingly mainstream land of multi-kulti groove-meister pastiches, Putumayo has chosen a more forward-leaning direction -- or have they? As time goes on, music of this genre, with its tendency toward faux-ironic, retro-glam-showbiz quotes and neo-hipster attitude, far from being on the cutting edge, is beginning to seem downright cozy and nostalgic. For example the singer on Bitterweet's "Dirty Laundry," wreathed in chirpy girl-group references, refers to herself as a "bad girl." What can that possibly mean in the industrial West, at the dawn of the present millennium, when pretty much anything goes? Did she wear fur, patronize an unfashionable tatooist, forget to recycle? K-Os, from Canada, again looks over its shoulder, this time to The Last Poets and Ray Charles' "Hit The Road Jack" -- not boring but hardly newsworthy or thought-provoking. Many of these bands seem to be playing at being shady characters to impress their friends and audiences. The tunes are elegant, studied and even sporadically barbed. But truly dangerous artistic statements tend to be created by obsessed, passionate loose cannons, not anal retentive poseurs indulging in self-conscious theatrics. --Christina Roden
Top customer reviews
Get your grove on - this collections is light and sexy! Just wow!! Any cocktail party favorite!
"Dirty Laundry" got my attention up front. I was wondering where the ABC promo music for the Thursday night programming came from (Grey's Anatomy and Ugly Betty). Talk about a fun take on big (or shall we call it large) band style. The truthful lyrics about living with a bad boy are great, too.
This was also the first time I'd heard any contemporary German jazz. Radio Citizen's "Hop" has got a great R&B soul revival feel with a guitar riff that gives the arrangement a little teeth.
"Crabbucket" will get you on your feet. I'm adding this to my exercise track, but don't ignore the lyrics. How many of us have been "trying to get down because we're moving up?"
"New Groove" would be a better value for the money if it were a little longer, plus it would have more utility for me as an exercise-dance track. I'd love to hear some African and Celtic jazz on this same vein.
Everything from the track selection with it's varied rhythms, instrumentation, along with the range of artists & styles on this cohesive collection make it just plain superb, a great disc. It never fails, it's under my skin. Every time I put it on, I say - oh God I love this thing! It was given to me by friends, this music is fairly out of my pocket, but it's just got such a great groove throughout.
The Amazon product reviewer however - well let's just say that Christina Roden's wonky review does not pertain to this disk. Her review is definitely more about HER and how she can turn a clever phrase than it is about the totally stellar, engaging and evocative collection she's reviewing.
...I mean where else but in her review are you gonna hear quotes like this:
"But truly dangerous artistic statements tend to be created by obsessed, passionate loose cannons, not anal retentive poseurs indulging in self-conscious theatrics"?
- now that's a keeper! To reviewer Christina Roden I say - you paint with a pretty broad brush that does no service whatsoever to these amazing tracks (and the listeners who haven't heard this yet) with your cavalier, erudite reparte; it's about the music, not you. But take heart Christina, keep at it - as I am sure more will be revealed.