Saturday, July 28, 2012

Album Review : Putumayo presents "Blues Lounge"

I picked this up from Kuwait's Virgin Megatore (RIP) back in 2004 or 2005. I thought that you guys would like to know how this album shapes up in the world of chillout music.

Putumao is a record label that releases electronica fused world music. It's got reggae, salsa, Middle Eastern and other world music mixed with some of the best DJ's and release compilation albums.

For this release, called Blues Lounge, as Putumayo state, is "a unique collection of modern electronica blended with classic acoustic blues".

Obviously, as a blues fanatic, I had to buy this CD to see how creative electro musicians could envision the blues from their perspective.

There are 10 tracks all by various artists, including the famous Moby.

The first thing I noticed is that the word "blues" seems to be misunderstood by those DJ's. Only a handful of songs actually have bluesy undertones. The song "Pablo's Blues" samples the king of the Delta blues Robert Johnson's song "Come on in my Kitchen" to great success, as does "Death Letter" by Johnny Farmer, which samples Son House's "Death Letter Blues". Others, like "Camioux" by Boozoo Bajou feat. Wayne Martin, sounds like a standard chillout track you might hear at a nightclub before the techno hits in. Moby's track "Run On" should not even be on this album... the song's lyrics are from "God's Gonna Cut you Down", which is not even a blues song!

The album obviously should not be heard as a blues album; you will end up with a lot of hatred and disgust, repeating "THIS ISN'T BLUES" over and over in your head.

However, it is a nice break from hearing the blues standards and to have a fresh perspective. After all, everyone sees the blues in different ways.

If you are into chillout music you might enjoy this album when you invite your friends over for a cocktail. Otherwise this album should be skipped, because it doesn't do the blues well, and therefore it doesn't do electro that well either.

My favorite track is the first one, "Midnight Dream" by Little Axe. Here it is for ya:

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