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Putumayo Presents The Caribbean

About.com Rating 3.5 Star Rating


Putumayo Presents The Caribbean
(c) Putumayo World Music, 2006

The Bottom Line

This is a nice, albeit short, collection of a wide spectrum of genres and artists. It is consistently upbeat and pleasant. I recommend it paired with Jamaican Jerk Chicken and a Mai Tai for maximum enjoyment.
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  • Playful and fun - perfect for getting into that summer mood


  • Only 46 minutes of music... where's the rest?
  • No steel drum music!


  • A pleasant romp through various Caribbean sounds, both modern and traditional.
  • A nice representation of both well-known bands and virtually unkown bands.
  • All of the songs are midtempo or upbeat, so it's very danceable!

Guide Review - Putumayo Presents The Caribbean

This Putumayo collection seeks to tackle the music of the Caribbean. Caribbean music has long found comfortable crossovers with mainstream American music, from Harry Belafonte to No Doubt, so this album should be pretty comfortable and accessible for those who might not be world music fans. It starts off with Martinique's Kali performing the upbeat yet mysterious-sounding "Aline Vole" (Aline Has Taken Flight) and transitions smoothly into the Jamaican Mento stylings of Stanley Beckford's "Sam Fi Man".

Effortless transition is really the name of the game here, once again Putumayo has managed to draw together a number of tunes from very different traditions and link them comfortably. Further highlights on the album include ska-son fusion band Ska Cubano's cut "Chango", ska superstars The Skatalites, with "Freedom Sounds" and the steamy soca sounds of Militant's "Hot and Groovy".

Like many Putumayo albums, this collection is very nice but really only a surface-scratcher, and I really wish that it had been just a few songs longer.

January 10, 2006
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Disclosure: A review copy was provided by the publisher. For more information, please see our Ethics Policy.
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