Various Artists

The Best of Greece, Vol. 2

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Released by Gateway in the late '90s, Best of Greece, Vol. 2 illustrates the soulfulness of modern Greek pop by spotlighting the songs of such highly regarded composers as Mikis Theodorakis ("Jitonia Ton Egelon," "Vracho, Vracho," "I Balanda Tou Andrea") and Michalis Terzis ("Trikimia," "Nocturno"). Some of the songs have vocals, while others are instrumental -- the thing that ties all of the material together is its charm and warmth. One can note the parallels between Greek pop and the music of Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Israel, India, Iran, Egypt, Syria and Algeria, but as strong as the similarities are, it's easy to tell all of them apart. Greek music has a charm all its own, as this collection demonstrates. Best of Greece, Vol. 2 doesn't have very informative liner notes, and that fact makes it less than essential. Still, it's an enjoyable compilation with good sound quality and inspired performances.

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