Various Artists

Putumayo Presents: Women of the World - International

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An early entry in Putumayo's catalog of world music (and more specifically, women's world music), this compilation covers music from most major areas of the world, aside from Asia, Eastern Europe, and Australia. The one thing that the listener might note offhand is the incredibly high usage of the synthesizer (an instrument that, while in heavy usage in the rest of the world, probably still isn't in usage as high as these tracks would suggest). Unfortunately, the album has relatively little to look forward to musically. Most of the tracks are varied forms of the worldbeat cookie cutter or, at the very least, sound something like such. There are a couple of highlights, though, from artists who have already made names for themselves in the mass markets from time to time: Des'ree and Angelique Kidjo. Outside of those two, however, one might be better off finding different compilations to provide the desired material.

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