Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Consumer Guide Album

Colombia [Putumayo World Music, 2001]
The excellent World Circuit and very good Rough Guide cumbia comps are narrow not only genrewise but labelwise, leaving plenty of room for the pop exotica Putumayo hawks up. In fact, only four of these 12 tracks are even cumbias. Instead we get reclaimed mountain beats and bastard salsas, ambitious neofolkies and singing TV hosts, '90s hits and anthemic oldies. And hooks, always hooks. You could learn as much about Colombia at a restaurant in Woodside if its jukebox measured up. And have a darn good time doing it. A-