This is one of three compilations assembled to commemorate the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens, the others being a classical collection (Harmony) and an all-Greek one (Phos). The idea for this pop album seems to have been to combine musicians from different countries and different musical styles, although in practice world pop music has become so homogeneous that much of this disc simply sounds like business as usual for the performers. For example, Sting has incorporated so many elements of the music of other cultures into his sound, dating back to the Police, that having him collaborate with Mariza just makes for another of his typical hybrids. And there have been so many recordings in recent years in which pop artists combined with rappers and toasters that the ones here often sound positively conventional. That said, there are some entertaining performances that could certainly be hits, given the appropriate promotion, among them the amusing "Issues" by Mr. G, Joss Stone, and Crissey Blur; "We Want Peace" by Lenny Kravitz and Kadim Al Sahir; and the danceable "Oh Yeah" by Macy Gray and Keziah Jones. Often, the artists have responded to the Olympics theme by writing political or otherwise inspirational lyrics, and some work better than others. Wayne Wonder and Neneh Cherry's "Eyes on the Prize," for example, is a more considered effort than Alice Cooper and Xzibit's "Stand," with its clichéd chorus, "If you don't stand for something, you will fall for anything."
AllMusic Review by William Ruhlmann