This 16-track compilation covers Senegalese singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Youssou N'Dour's Columbia Records period, from 1991 to 1996. Perhaps the most popular pop culture figure in Senegal's history, N'Dour created a music of his own from various sources, which he called "mbalax" and which incorporates everything from jazz, soul, hard R&B styles, hip-hop, and even Cuban samba, and juxtaposes them with the folk melodies and polyrhythms of his native land. The cuts here, particularly "Old Man," "New Africa," "Yo le Le, (Fulani Rhythm)," and the covers of Smokey Robinson's "Don't Look Back," and Lennon and McCartney's "Ob-La-Di-Ob-La-Da," reveal N'Dour's idiosyncratic, yet very accessible grasp and integration of Western and African pop styles.
Recollections of Britain's arch-glam gods generally inspire two theories of their producers, Mike Chapman and his partner, Nicky Chinn. Either they knew just what they were doing and calculated accordingly, or blindly hit pay dirt, following toothless early singles like "Funny Funny" (none of which grace this disc). By this reckoning, Sweet was a '70s-era pinup band or a closeted hard rock quartet who only got their due after breaking the Chapman/Chinn combination…
Five Seasons, Lemongrass, Velvet Dreamer, Christophe Goze, Club Des Belugas, Jojo Effect and many more.
Christophe Goze, Openzone Bar, Jojo Effect, Bebo Best & The Super Lounge Orchestra, The James Taylor Quartet, Brenda Boykin and many more.
The Best of A Flock of Seagulls is an excellent 12-track roundup of A Flock of Seagulls' best material. Their catalog wasn't particularly deep outside of the hits "Wishing (If I Had a Photograph of You)" and "I Ran (So Far Away)," but they did do some good new nomantic synth pop, particularly on cuts like "Nightmares," "A Space Age Love Song," and "Telecommunications," all of which are here. As a matter of fact, this really does contain all of the group's best material, and while new wave fetishists will likely go for the actual albums anyway, most listeners will be more than satisfied with this.
Released not long after Warren Zevon announced that he was suffering from terminal cancer, perhaps some could argue that the single-disc Genius: The Best of Warren Zevon exploits his tragedy by recycling his catalog. The argument holds no water, because not only is it worth celebrating the work of this singer/songwriter, but his catalog was calling out for a collection like this. Although there was the double-disc set I'll Sleep When I'm Dead and a 1986 hits collection, there was no set produced during the CD era that chronicled not just his heyday, but his late-'80s comeback while cherrypicking highlights from the '90s. This does exactly that over the course of a generous, sharply selected 22 tracks. Given the space, it's inevitable that some great songs are missing, but if you're looking for a comprehensive overview, turn to the two-disc set. If you're looking for an introduction or simply a stellar selection of highlights, this suits the bill perfectly.