Various Artists

Mondo Platinum

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The biggest tracks from some of the biggest world music artists? Khaled's "Aisha" qualifies, but the description doesn't fit all the other artists' tracks by any means. George Dalaras, Notis Sfakianakis, and Haris Alexiou are all big names in Greece, there's no doubt about that, while Faudel and Cheb Mami are massive in rai (but if these are the biggest tracks, why wasn't Faudel's "Tellement N'Brick" included here?), Hakim is one of Egypt's major sha'bi stars, and Alannah Myles is known in Canada. But Zucchero, Emma Shapplin, and above all Burundi's Khadja Nin? Mondo Platinum seems to be scraping the bottom of the barrel there. Even Rachid Taha, here performing a duet with Afro-beat god Femi Kuti, isn't a huge star in France, where he's made his home for years; his music, excellent as it is, stays out on the fringes. And that's the problem here. This seems like a compilation of label artists slapped together with little rhyme or reason, and certainly not enough thought. That's not to say there isn't some good music; there is. But it's not exactly truth in advertising; the only fully certified international superstar here is Khaled. Mondo Melodia has put out much better compilations than this -- the compilers of Mondo Platinum don't seem to do the self-serving thing very well.

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