Album Review: Various Rhythms Del Mundo

By Graham Reid

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 Rhythms Del Mundo: Revival . Image / Supplied
Rhythms Del Mundo: Revival . Image / Supplied

Rating: 2/5
Verdict: The cause remains the same but the songs...

After the Buena Vista Social Club alerted the planet to largely forgotten musicians in Cuba - and the beguiling rhythms of that island - it was open season on catalogue exploitation for record companies, many of whom suddenly discovered Cuban bands on their books. Rubbish releases by cash-ins and hotel lobby bands followed, then - inevitably - came the remixers. No Cuban left unmolested.

To its small credit the Rhythms del Mundo project works the other way: it sampled - with permission - bands like Coldplay and Arctic Moneys and hooked in U2's Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For.

This third instalment comes with a conscience-prod: some money apparently goes to registered charities, which you might prefer them to be more specific about if you want to donate.

As to the music: Wyclef Jean riffing over a sample of the Bee Gees Stayin' Alive is mundane and self-important; the house band do something idiotic and lounge with Green Day's version of I Fought the Law and Dylan's Hard Rain, and your guess is as good as mine for Bebe's bedroom moans on Smells Like Teen Spirit. Curiously KT Tunstall's version of Jefferson Airplane's Somebody to Love takes off in her flute solo (more so than in her bloodless vocals) and Coldplay's Clocks (which appeared on a previous instalment) seems the most Cuban-adaptable. Otherwise, well-intentioned, forgettable rubbish.

-TimeOut / elsewhere.co.nz

- NZ Herald

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