Various Artists

World 2002

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The annual compilation by BBC world music disc jockey Charlie Gillett finally makes its way to America, and most welcome it is. With 37 cuts spread across two discs, there's definitely something for everyone from virtually every corner of the globe. While a lot of this music is available in the U.S., the joy is in the little gems that might have been overlooked or simply never found release here, like Souad Massi's "Bladi," where she sounds like an Algerian Tracy Chapman, or Javier Ruibal's stunning take on flamenco with "Isla Mujeres." But there's not a dud among the selections here, from the opener of young Portuguese fadista Mariza to the throat-singing rock of Tuva's Yat-Kha. While billed as a 2002 compilation, don't take that at face value -- some of the original release dates go back a couple of years. That doesn't diminish the quality of the music, however, since there's not the same sell-by date on world music that there is on pop. Add some very informative liner notes and you have an irresistible package that takes you merrily around the globe in a couple of hours and brings you home richer and satisfied; what more can you ask from any compilation?

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