World Music, it seems, is one of the most under appreciated genres in the vast universe of music. That at least seems to be the case among American audiences. Hopefully this critic is wrong in that interpretation. Yet, when one looks at the fact that most World Music is relegated to public radio stations instead of having any major mainstream presence, one can’t help but think that it is not one of the most commercially accepted genres. Ironically, those who give World Music a chance will find that it is in fact quite the interesting realm, as has been proven again by this year’s new field of World Music offerings.
This year has seen a wide array of interesting new World Music albums. From South America to Africa to the Middle East and even to Spain, the World Music Realm has produced albums from around the globe that deserve at least one listen if not more. Topping this year’s list of the best new World Music offerings is Ladilikan, the most recent recording from Mali-based Trio Da Kali. Joining the group on the new album is the famed American string group Kronos Quartet. The arrangements created by this collective are works that simply must be heard to be fully appreciated. Also included in this year’s list are new compilations from Putumayo World Music featuring Italian and Cuban selections alongside Argentinian artist Fer Isella’s new album The Art of the Possible among others.
As with every one of this critic’s previous lists, this collection features this critic’s Top 10 Best New Albums in their category, with five additional honorable mention titles. That brings the count to 15 total. Without any further ado, here for you is Phil’s Picks’ 2017 Top 10 New World Music albums.
- Trio Da Kali & Kronos Quartet — Ladilikan
- Red Baraat — Bhangra Pirates
- Music Action Ensemble — Foundation
- Fer Isella — The Art of the Possible
- Synthesize The Soul — Astro-Atlantic Hypnotica From The Cape Verde Islands 1973 – 1988
- Las Cafeteras — Tastes Like L.A.
- Putumayo World Music Presents — Cuba! Cuba!
- Putumayo World Music Presents — Classic Italia
- Battle of Santiago — La Migra
- Ani Cordero — Querido Mundo
- Jenny & The Mexicats — Open Sea
- Delia Derbyshire Appreciation Society — Delia Derbyshire Appreciation Society
- Free Radicals — Outside The Comfort Zone
- Tamikrest — Kidal
- Tinariwen — Elwan
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