Graham Reid | | 1 min read
After the Buena Vista Social Club
alerted the planet to great old, and largely forgotten, musicians in
Cuba – and of course the beguiling rhythms of that small island –
it was open season on catalogue exploitation for major record
companies, many of whom suddenly discovered they had Cuban bands on
their books from decades before the American cultural boycott.
Rubbish releases by cash-ins and hotel
lobby bands followed then – inevitably – came the remixers. No
Cuban sound left untampered, it seemed.
To its small cash-in credit, the
Rhythms del Mundo project appears to work the other way: it took and
takes samples – with permission – from bands like Coldplay and
Arctic Moneys (remember them?), hooked in U2's Still Haven't Found
What I'm Looking to cover and . . .
So far some good and some so-so.
This third installment comes with all
the conscience-prod of our times: about $5 apparently goers to a
registered charity in the wake of what has happened in Chile, Tibet
and Haiti . . . some of which you might prefer to be more specific
about if you want to know where your money is going.
As to the music this time out: Wyclef
Jean riffing over a sample of the Bee Gees Stayin' Alive is mundane
and self-important; the house band do something astonishingly idiotic
and lounge with Green Day's version of I Fought the Law and Dylan's
Hard Rain (I guess they didn't understand the lyrics but took “I
fought the law” and “hard rain” somewhat literally), and
frankly I just didn't get Bebe's bedroom moans on Smells Like Teen
Curiously KT Tunstall's bloodless
version of Jefferson Airplane's Somebody to Love takes off in her
flute solo (more a trip than her vocal delivery) and Coldplay's
Clocks (which appeared on a previous installment) seems the most
Otherwise . . . just well intentioned