Various Artists

The Greatest Songs Ever: Spain [2006]

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In 2004 Petrol Records put out a Greatest Songs Ever album highlighting artists from Spain and including songs from Ojos de Brujo, Ketama, Paco de Lucía, and Andrés Segovia, among others, meaning that, even though it wasn't an all-inclusive compilation, it still did a pretty good job of covering some of the cornerstones in Spanish music. In 2006 another edition was released, but this time the label is a lot further from where it once was. What's even more confusing is that the track list on the website promises a pretty decent lineup (Jarabe de Palo, Carlos Nunez, Rosario, Radio Tarifa, Paco de Lucía again, plus some others) while the actual version, at least the one available in the U.S. (though there is no mention that the Australian and American discs are different) is pretty disappointing in comparison. Not that there isn't a lot of good stuff on Greatest Songs Ever: Spain, because there is. There's an emphasis on contemporary flamenco and the Ojos de Brujo-esque fusion that has become popular in the years before the release, and artists like Las Niñas, Los Delinquentes, and O'Funk'illo all provide interesting, rhythmic songs that incorporate their various influences into the Andalusian art form, and even the poppier pieces, like Enrique Bunbury's tango-inspired "Extrangero" and Bebe's "Siete Horas," are fun and catchy. Still, as an overall album, the 2006 "American" version of Greatest Songs Ever: Spain doesn't quite live up to its superlative title.

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