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Saturday, December 31 1994

Various Artists: World Playground

Putumayo issues nice, safe World Music that you hear about first on National Public Radio, a neoconservative endorsement that doesn’t necessarily mean that you

Various Artists: Free the West Memphis Three

The power of music is amazing. Sometimes it can bring you to such a wonderful and beautiful place. It’s a time machine, for when

Various Artists, The Rolling Stone Women In Rock Collection

A three disc set that illustrates women’s contributions to rock, the Rolling Stone collection begins with the blues of Big Mama Thornton and ends

    Various Artists: Solesides’ Greatest Bumps

It has become annoyingly popular among critics to laud hip-hop albums because they are “old school” and don’t contain references to pimpin’ hos, killin’

Various Artists: Classic Ballads of Britain and Ireland

Most of us have never sat down and listened to storytelling ballads. They are not a popular style of music nowadays, to say the least.

Various Artists: Fox Sports Presents Game Time!

Based on how successfully this thump’n'lurch collection of jock-doofus standards (the CD is subtitled “19 of your favorite stadium pumping, crowd rocking hits” to which

    Various Artists: Not the Same Old Blues Crap II

With the death last June of John Lee Hooker, American blues lost one of its few remaining geniuses from the generation of World War II-era

Various Artists, The Look Of Love: The Burt Bacharach Collection

You’ve heard dozens of Bacharach songs and may not even know it. From the 1950s to the present, Bacharach has written scores of standards

Various Artists: The Rough Guide to Irish Folk

If you don’t know what Irish music is, then this is a good place to start. Bringing everything from jigs to unaccompanied vocal solos

    Various Artists: The Unbound Project Volume One

If you are beginning to feel that the social commentary side of hip-hop has either disappeared or degenerated into bankable cliche, then this remarkable collection

Various Artists: Puerto Rico

Bomba, Plena, Salsa, and Son from the Island of Enchantment However unlikely it might have seemed, the music of the Spanish Caribbean has found its

Various Artists: Klubb Jazz 3

Slip and Slide’s Jazz in the House series was crucial for the development of a home listening market for what is now a sizeable

Various Artists, Old School vs. New School

Cool concept, no doubt about it. Shrewdly recognizing the parallels between early hip-hop and the recent dance underground, Jive has formed a new imprint dedicated

Various Artists: Hollywood Swing & Jazz

This is going to seem like I’m going way off on a tangent, but trust me. In 1989 the DJ dance duo Coldcut released a

Zen Guerrilla: Shadows on the Sun

As Sub Pop labelmates Vue take their cues from ‘60s garage rock, Zen Guerrilla cut their own sharp channel into the well eroded riverbed of

Frank Zappa, Son of Cheap Thrills

With somewhere in the neighborhood of 60 original Zappa albums, you simply have to wonder if Rykodisc will ever need to find another artist to keep

    Zeni Geva: 10,000 Light Years

Zeni Geva’s music sounds like outtakes from the soundtrack to The Matrix. It would be good for some two-minute hyped-up action scene, but do

    The Zincs: Moth and Marriage

First off, I have to say that when I first received The Zincs’ Moth and Marriage, I was struck by the title and how it


Criticize ZZ Top all you want for shamelessly throwing around their hits “Legs” and “Sharp Dressed Man,” but don’t just put them off as

Zohar: Keter

Lead by chameleon pianist Uri Caine (this guy does it all: jazz, Mahler, Tin Pan Alley, you name it), and featuring the diverse talents of

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