Ambiances du Sahara: Desert Blues, released in '96, was a huge hit that lingered on Europe's world-music charts for months. Such success has sparked Desert Blues 2, a second double-CD compilation high

Ambiances du Sahara: Desert Blues, released in '96, was a huge hit that lingered on Europe's world-music charts for months. Such success has sparked Desert Blues 2, a second double-CD compilation highlighting the bluesy soul of North Africa. And like love, the blues is a universal language. For proof, look no further than these 26 tracks that spotlight marvelous, entrancing, bahr bela

ma (ocean without water) blues. Featured artists include Rokia Traoré, Habib Koité, Cheb Mami, Djeli Moussa Diawara, and Bob Brozman. Cue up Lobi Traoré's "Anunka Ben" or Momo Wandel Soumah's "Félenko Yéfé," and you'll think your favorite blues joint has been transported somewhere beyond Timbuktu. This

is laid-back, soulful music from the cradle of the world. Sometimes sequels work—like this one. Distributed by Harmonia Mundi.—PVV