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Various Artists

Water for Life

(Compass Records; US: 19 Jan 2009; UK: 13 Jan 2009)

Wells for Zoe is the name of a small Irish organization that works to provide potable water for people who live in the Malawian countryside. “The purchase of this CD,” says their website, “helps to provide funding for future projects.” Like many charity compilations it has the feel of a grab-bag. You can imagine the compilers phoning people. Sinéad, it’s for a good cause. Would you mind—? Thanks!


There are a few instrumental Irish folk tracks, a few songs in country-American style, and a few one-offs: a cover of “Sisters are Doin’ it for Themselves” performed by an Irish singer who aims to sound like Aretha Franklin, plus a thin pop demo from Paul Brady which will only seem acceptable if you like Paul Brady. The Scottish-Latin group Salsa Celtica contributes “Cumbia Celtica”. It’s not the group’s strongest song but worth attending to if you’re curious. The idea of combining Scottish folk music with Latin sounds like a silly gimmick but this group redeems it completely. Cover bad, album pretty good.

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