Globe Trekker, formerly known to American viewers as Lonely Planet, is a series of TV travelogues aimed at youthful adventure travelers on a budget. On this collection of tunes culled from the show's soundtracks, ethnic field recordings are either augmented or trivialized, depending upon the listener's point of view, by drum'n'bass, techno, trance, or even new age pixie dust. However, from the very first note, one wonders why it was deemed necessary to adulterate such rich musical traditions. Brazil, Cuba, Egypt, and Ivory Coast all have burgeoning recording industries. It boggles the mind that the producers were unable to locate appropriate homegrown sounds, acoustic or otherwise, and then simply go with the flow. As they stand, the tunes reek of strenuous market research and will no doubt please the show's target demographic. DJs from the Buddha Bar school will also jump on board, having already convinced millions of otherwise intelligent people that a turntable is an instrument and that it makes sense to pay big bucks for the privilege of listening to someone else's record collection. For everyone else, tragically hip effluvia like soggy synths, manipulated voices, and implacable programmed snares get old pretty fast. When heard without the distraction of visual images and in strict moderation, the Globe Trekker scores come across as pleasant enough background music -- extremely well engineered and reasonably tactful, but unimportant. With sufficient input from the various ports of call, this set would have been more representative of the cultures involved and, incidentally, made far better listening, too.
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AllMusic Review by Christina Roden