Intended to capitalize on the success of last year's Desert Roses collection, this second volume will hopefully reach an even wider audience—one beyond world music fans, even—because it'

Intended to capitalize on the success of last year's Desert Roses collection, this second volume will hopefully reach an even wider audience—one beyond world music fans, even—because it's stylistically superior than its predecessor. The fervent music of the Maghreb has extended its reach far beyond the desert of North Africa. Contributors to this record check in from Puerto Rico, the U.S., England, and Lebanon. The music range touches upon Berber, rai, and Gnawa, generously intertwined with Western rock and electronica. Yes, Desert Roses 2 doesn't shy away from diversity. If in doubt, listen to a track as traditionally North African as Nawal al Zoughbi's "Bain Albareh Wa Al Yam" and then a bomb track like Oojami's "Istanboogie"—breakbeats plus the trilling of women. Brave new world fusion, indeed. The Rachid Taha track, "En Retard," an intense Berber/trance number, deserves to be heard in big-room clubs. Other highlights include Khaled's "Trigue Lycee," Shãni's "Call of the Wild," Cheb Mami's "Bäida," and Olga Tañon and Hakim's "Ah Ya Albi."—PVV

Questions? Comments? Let us know: @billboard

Print