Around The World In 80 Tracks

A diverse collection of music styles.

Sit back. Buckle in. Now fly.

I’ve listened to this album when driving down an interminable stretch of road, and unlike little else I’ve heard before, this took me straight off tarred ground, into space where sibylline music videos take life.

The teaser on the jacket reads "Essential World Beat Collection", and in keeping with its call, the album has been coloured by music styles as diverse as Enya’s vatical trebles to Yanni’s cosmic orchestration and Moby’s mechanized curiosities.

Enya opens with her timeless "Only Time", and Moby takes over with fragile "Porcelain". A compilation of the old and the older, "Voyage 2" creates a distinct ethereal air, soaring serenely one minute with Moby, then breaking frenetically into Era’s "Ameno" (a Gregorian relic) and then free-falling with Enigma’s "Return To Innocence". "Punjab" by Karunesh is by far the best, a spirited remix of an old Hindustani number that only gets better with each spin.

This article was first published on 21 Feb 2003.