Various Artists

Rasa: Exotica

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Taking various kinds of dance music from around the globe and pairing them all together in a nice little package, Rasa: Exotica is an uneven but ultimately decent dance album. The Harry Morse Project begins the entire thing on the wrong foot; their "Brazilou (Ze Edit)" is numbing and dull, leaving the rest of the album to try and make up for this bad beginning. The next few tracks have occasional interesting moments, but they have no protection from their own faults without a really great song to mix things up. The album finally gets a shot in the arm by River Ocean featuring India. Their energetic, passionate "Love and Happiness" offsets the boredom that the first five tracks bring to the mix. The next few songs keep the moment going, updating everything from Latin pop, disco, and classic jazz and transforming them into techno tracks. The Stereo MCs, De-Phazz, and Radar have three excellent tracks in a row, making the end of the album much more preferable to the beginning. Everything else is perfectly acceptable club music, with little of it seeming like it would translate well on a home stereo. But if a lighthearted dance album representing the international scene appeals to you, then this album is a good place to start.

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