Tarry Hum Flushing-West Essay

1.
Despite never writing about it directly, explicitly—the way he wrote about cruise ships or Roger Federer or the eating of lobsters—David Foster Wallace had a keen and lifelong interest in the brain. There was an obvious personal reason for this: on most of the days of his life, he consumed brain-altering chemicals as a way to stave off suicidal depression. His first published short story is essentially an extended musing on the connections between chemicals, the brain, and subjective wellbeing. These interests continue to animate his early works; both The Broom of the System (1987) and Girl with Curious Hair (1989) are peppered with offhand but learned references to neuroanatomy. Paul D. MacLean’s once-popular triune brain theory appears in Infinite Jest, and there are also quieter references to Gilbert Ryle and Julian Jaynes—two other well-known theorists of the relations between neurology and the mind. As Wallace scholar Stephen J. Burn has put it, analyzing The Pale King (2011), Wallace nurtured a “career-long fascination with consciousness.”

His 2004 short-story collection Oblivion has always been a somewhat confusing book: dense, obtuse, cold, fragmented, a little cruel. However, while penning a PhD thesis on the intersections between neuroscience, theories of consciousness, and modern Anglo-American literature—a Wallacian labyrinth of thought if ever there was one—I think I have come to understand Oblivion for what it really is: A work of horror fiction, whose unique brand of horror is rooted in Wallace’s reading about the brain.

In the eight years between Infinite Jest and Oblivion, Wallace’s reading in neuroscience and consciousness studies intensified. His essay “Consider the Lobster,” published almost in tandem with Oblivion, displays a sophistication of engagement with neuroscience that outstrips any of his previous work, referencing nociceptors and prostaglandins and endorphins and enkephalins. The more precise direction of Wallace’s reading is indicated by two books found in his personal library (preserved today at the Harry Ransom Centre at UT in Austin): the Danish popular science writer Tor Nørretranders’s The User Illusion, and Timothy D. Wilson’s Strangers to Ourselves. Wallace read both of these works of popular consciousness studies closely, and what he took from them is revealed by his annotations. In Nørretranders’s The User Illusion, Wallace has heavily underlined a section where Nørretranders writes “Consciousness is a fraud.” On another page Nørretranders has written “Most of what we experience, we can never tell each other about—we can share the experience that through language we are unable to share most of what we experience.” In his copy, Wallace has underlined this paragraph, and written, at the top of the page, “Loneliness—Can’t Talk About It.” In Wilson’s Strangers to Ourselves, alongside Wilson’s remark that “Freud’s vision of the unconscious was far too limited,” Wallace’s scribbled note reads “omniscient not on conscious thought but on unconscious drives” [sic]. Most of what we think of as self-directed behavior, explains Wilson, may well be actually “non-conscious intention.”

These quotes give you a sense of these two books, both of which build on what Alan Richardson calls “one of the great lessons of the cognitive revolution”: “just how much of mental life remains closed to introspection.” As a brief summation, the unified thesis of Nørretranders’s and Wilson’s works looks something like this: We are not really in control. Not only are we not in control, but we are not even aware of the things of which we are not in control. Our ability to judge anything with any accuracy is a lie, as is our ability to perceive these lies as lies. Consciousness masquerades as awareness and agency, but the sense of self it conjures is an illusion. We are stranded in the great opaque secret of our biology, and what we call subjectivity is a powerless epiphenomenon, sort of like a helpless rider on the back of a galloping horse—the view is great, but pulling on the reins does nothing.

If this description of reality feels familiar to you, it’s because such a neuroscientifically inspired pessimism is a quiet but powerful strain of modern thinking. It lurks in the shadows of the breezy materialism professed by science popularizers such as Richard Dawkins and Neil deGrasse Tyson—who tend to shroud the meaninglessness behind a smokescreen of excitable awe. Raymond Tallis calls the worldview conjured by works such as Nørretranders’s and Wilson’s “biologic pessimism.” In its broad strokes, the shadow of biologic pessimism is what dismayed a young William James. Today, it informs the work of the philosopher John Gray, and has found its most popular advocate in the character of Matthew McConaugheys Rust Cohle, in HBO’s True Detective. When Cohle explains to Woody Harrelson’s character that he thinks “human consciousness is a tragic misstep in evolution,” and that “we are things that labor under the illusion of having a self,” what sounds like poseurish gloom actually an entirely rational, reasonable interpretation of the modern scientific paradigm. As Wallace himself put it elsewhere, in his not-so-compact history of infinity, what science tells us is that “our love for our children is evolutionarily preprogrammed” and “our thoughts and feelings are really just chemical transfers in 2.8 pounds of electrified pâté.”

The character of Rust Cohle in True Detective links nearly back to Wallace’s Oblivion by virtue of the fact that the character of Rust Cohle was based to an almost plagiaristic degree on the nonfictional musings of another American fiction author: Thomas Ligotti. Ligotti, probably the finest living American horror writer, has built a whole fictional style upon the same pessimistic interpretation of the brain sciences that Wallace himself appears to have arrived at independently. And though Wallace, unlike Ligotti, is not known first and foremost as a horror author he was in fact a lifelong fan of the genre. His teaching syllabi included Stephen King, he adored the work of Thomas Harris (particularly Red Dragon), and he praised Cormac McCarthy’s Blood Meridian as “probably the most horrifying book of this century.” Wallace was also a “fanatical” David Lynch fan, and wrote a long piece praising his work for being “not about monsters…but about hauntings, about evil as environment, possibility, force.” For Lynch, Wallace wrote, “Darkness is in everything, all the time—not ‘lurking below’ or ‘lying in wait’ or ‘hovering on the horizon’: evil is here, right now.”

As it turns out, Wallace’s assessment of the special atmosphere of Lynch’s horror (published in 1996) functions as an uncannily accurate description of his own Oblivion (published in 2004). Oblivion was a strange collection that quietly baffled many readers, both when it was first published and to this day. But when you understand that the whole collection is about the horror of consciousness, what first appears as a fragmented piece of work achieves cohesion. With Oblivion, these two deep-set interests—the brain, and dispiriting interpretations of its nature and relationship to our subjective lives; and horror—collide.

“Mr. Squishy,” Oblivion’s opening piece, is infused with an air of subjectivity as helpless, capricious, and buffeted by winds of influence over which it has no control. The pitiable protagonist, Terry Schmidt, is tortured by his lust for a co-worker, and is driven to masturbation “without feeling as if he could help himself.” In his imaginings he cuts a pathetic figure, and he is troubled by “his apparent inability to enforce his preferences even in fantasy.” The state of affairs, we learn, “made Schmidt wonder if he even had what convention called a Free Will, deep down.” (Readers may know of Benjamin Libet’s famous experiments, often taken as strong neuroscientific evidence of the non-existence of free will.) Schmidt has “had several years of psychotherapy,” but remains helpless. So total is his isolation of self, that Schmidt is on the verge of “making a dark difference with a hypo and eight cc’s of castor bean distillate”—that is, committing mass murder via mass-poisoned commercial confectionary.

In “The Soul Is Not a Smithy,” a ranging recollection of a day in the childhood of an unnamed adult narrator, filters through the claustrophobia of an anxious mind a pitch of ascending dread and doom, the presence of violent insanity, and a lethal culmination. Evoking directly Wallace’s neuroscientific reading, the narrator muses that “that the most vivid and enduring occurrences in our lives are often those that occur at the periphery of our awareness.” The big cruel joke of “The Soul Is Not a Smithy” is that the narrator’s consciousness is so capricious and fickle that it has missed absorbing “the most dramatic and exciting event I would ever be involved in in my life.” The entire story is the narrator’s attempt to learn about an event that he rather ludicrously has no real first hand knowledge of because of his inadequate brain.

The flash fictional “Incarnations of Burned Children” seems to darkly riff upon this chronic mind-scatteredness which blights so many of Oblivion’s cast, by having the awful events of the story render the father’s “mind empty of everything but purpose”—a state the narrators of the rest of the collection could never hope to achieve. Only under such awful extreme duress, it suggests, might consciousness reach something like an unfiltered, directional tone. “Another Pioneer” has at its heart the horror of (brain-based) self-consciousness: Within the nested story, doom for the jungle village follows the moment when the child messiah’s “cognitive powers [bent] back in on themselves and transformed him from messianic to monstrous,” powers “whose lethal involution resonates with malignant self-consciousness”—a self-consciousness that was a constant theme of Wallace’s work, and which the story declares can be found “in everything from Genesis 3:7 to the self-devouring Kirttimukha of the Skanda Purana to the Medousa’s reflective demise to Gödelian metalogic.”

This crushing weight of self-consciousness is at the heart of Oblivion’s most famous story, “Good Old Neon,” which n+1 called the collection’s “one indisputable masterpiece.” The pseudo-narrator of “Good Old Neon,” Neal, has spent his life tortured by “the fraudulence paradox”: “the more time and effort you put into trying to appear impressive or attractive to other people, the less impressive or attractive you felt inside—you were a fraud.” The pressure eventually becomes so great that Neal kills himself. The crucial point is that all of Neal’s extensive and extensively described suffering can be located in the makeup and character of the human brain, not society or culture. By the end of the story the strong impression is that Neal’s condition is but a particularly acute version of a basic human predicament. As he puts it, it’s “not as if this is an incredibly rare or obscure type of personality.” In the modern neuroscientific paradigm, Neal’s suspicion that “in reality I actually seemed to have no true inner self” is absolutely correct. There is really nothing outlandish about Neal’s fears; within Oblivion’s neuropessimism, they are simple truisms. We do experience time poorly; language is in many ways a weak tool. The same goes for his fear that he is “unable to love:” from a hard Darwinian viewpoint, we are all unable to love, really—or more accurately, what we think we are doing when we love is actually not loving at all as we understand that word. Neal recognizes this himself: “we are all basically just instruments or expressions of our evolutionary drives, which are themselves the expressions of forces that are infinitely larger and more important than we are.”

In the title story, “Oblivion,” the protagonist and his wife are so incapable of accurately telling perception from reality that one or both of them can’t tell when they are awake and when they are asleep. The narrator’s “seven months of severe sleep disturbance” have made for a “neural protest” of symptoms that underpin the story’s oppressive, nervous atmosphere. This atmosphere achieves full bloom in Oblivion’s closing novella, “The Suffering Channel,” which features the story’s eponymous production company and their “registered motto” “CONSCIOUSNESS IS NATURE’S NIGHTMARE.” (A quotation from the famous pessimist philosopher Emil Cioran, who wrote books with such cheery titles as The Trouble with Being Born.) “The Suffering Channel” features various lonely people failing to connect via their “tiny keyholes” of self. The story’s focus on defecating is really an extended metaphor for the interior, the private–that which is common to all, but which is very rarely (to contaminate the metaphor) pushed through the keyhole. Our inability or social aversion to share with one another the deepest workings of our large intestines mirrors our inability to share the deepest workings of our minds. What we have is scatological representation of what philosophers call the Hard Problem. All of the characters of “The Suffering Channel” labor under “the conflict between the subjective centrality of our own lives versus our awareness of its objective insignificance”—in and of itself the overarching tragedy of the whole of Oblivion.

2.
Ultimately, just as Wallace wrote that David Lynch’s movies were about “not about monsters…but about hauntings, about evil as environment, possibility, force;” that for Lynch “Darkness is in everything, all the time—not ‘lurking below’ or ‘lying in wait’ or ‘hovering on the horizon’: evil is here, right now”–Oblivion is a collection about horror as the basic state of existence. The darkness and dread and horror of Oblivion is not in monsters or evil people; it is in the environment, in all of us, in our neurology and fraught consciousness and ill-evolved minds. Ligotti has written that all real horror writing, from Ann Radcliffe through to H.P. Lovecraft, is motivated by the specter of “the universe itself as centerless and our species as only a smudge of organic materials at the mercy of forces that know us not.” By these standards, Wallace, driven by his voluminous reading in the brain sciences, joins the club. In my thesis—academia being a world where the coining of neologisms is a mark of one’s stunningly original thinking—I refer to this style of existential horror, rooted in an interpretation of modern neuroscience, as neurohorror.

If there is a chink of philosophical sunlight, it is that Wallace may not have totally believed in the worldview of biologic pessimism. Oblivion and Wallace’s final, tortuously produced, unfinished novel The Pale King were heavily intertwined. Wallace used the same notebooks for each, and funneled sections of one into the other as he went. Many critics think that the unrelenting misery of Oblivion was supposed to find its relief and counterpoint in its novelistic partner. As Wallace’s biographer D.T. Max puts it, “while Oblivion was descriptive, The Pale King was supposed to be prescriptive. It had to convince the reader that there was a way out of the bind. It had to have a commitment to a solution that Oblivion lacked.” The neurohorror of Oblivion may have represented a flexing of Wallace’s pessimist muscles, in advance of an attempt to overpower them. As Wallace himself said in an interview, “any possible human redemption requires us first to face what’s dreadful, what we want to deny.”

I mentioned that the biologic pessimism that caught Wallace’s attention mirrored that which preoccupied William James a century prior. Wallace’s potential solution or counterargument also mirrored James’s. Indeed, in the very same books that inspired Wallace’s neuropessimism, we find him searching for a more sanguine and more Jamesian reading. On page 129 of Nørretranders, Wallace underlined “You can direct your attention where you like.” On 133, he has underlined “the headiness of attaining high, clear awareness,” and under a section explaining the cortex he wrote “change in attention cause activity change in cortex” (sic). The brain might be the problem, but it appears that within these books Wallace was searching for a way for the brain to also become part of the solution. Underneath a quoted passage from William James, he wrote “Able to Choose Focus of Attention.” This would become the backbone to the hard-won optimism of “This is Water.”As David H. Evans has written, James put “activity rather than passivity at the core of our relation to the world” by affirming the subjective power of “the possibility of choice”–choice in terms of, to quote “This is Water,” “some control over how and what you think” over “what you pay attention to…how you construct meaning from experience.” This basic stance can also be observed in other thought systems Wallace was drawn to during his life, notably Buddhism.

The most pessimistic reading of all, though, must draw attention to the biographical elephant in the room: Wallace’s suicide. In the end, it was his brain—suffering with terrible withdrawal after years of being awash in the chemical mix of Nardil—that killed him. He couldn’t think his way out, couldn’t “construct meaning from experience” in a way that made something other than suicide the best option. It’s possible to see this as a cruel and tragic vindication of the neuro-determinism which colors Oblivion. He completed Oblivion, but wasn’t able to finish its optimistic companion The Pale King, despite years of trying—there is a sort of horrible literary mirror of Wallace’s own inner life there. Unlike in fiction—where, despite it all, at the end of HBO’s True Detective, Rust Cohle is able to remark hopefully that “the light’s winning”—we don’t choose our endings. Wallace dug deeply and unflinchingly into the real challenges of modern existence; he made us “face what’s dreadful, what we want to deny.” It remains with the rest of us to figure out how to live with it.

Image Credit: Pixabay.

The Millions' future depends on your support. Become a member today.

M. M. Owen is a British author who has published works of fiction and non-fiction in a range of magazines and anthologies. He is currently studying for a PhD at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada.

Various Artists: Compilations

  • 18 Original King Size Rhythm & Blues Hits [Columbia, 1967]
  • Boy Meets Girl [Stax, 1969] B+
  • Super Black Blues [BluesTime, 1969] B+
  • The Naked Carmen [Mercury, 1970] C
  • Super Black Blues Volume II [BluesTime, 1970] B+
  • Woodstock [Cotillion, 1970] B
  • The Concert for Bangla Desh [Apple, 1971] B-
  • Woodstock II [Cotillion, 1971] B
  • Jamming With Edward [Rolling Stones, 1972] C
  • Echoes of a Rock Era: The Early Years [Roulette, 1972] A-
  • You Must Remember These: Volume 1 [Bell, 1972] A
  • Africa Dances [Authentic, 1973] A
  • June 1, 1974 [Island, 1974] B+
  • This Is Reggae Music [Island, 1974] C+
  • Beserkley Chartbusters Volume 1 [Beserkley, 1975] A-
  • The Outlaws [RCA Victor, 1976] B+
  • Disco-Trek [Atlantic, 1976] B
  • Get Down and Boogie [Casablanca, 1976] B+
  • Live at CBGB's [Atlantic, 1976] B-
  • Max's Kansas City 1976 [Ram, 1976] C
  • Assalam Aleikoum Africa Volume One (Progressive and Popular Music of West Africa) [Antilles, 1977] B
  • Assalam Aleikoum Africa Volume Two (Traditional and Modern Folk Music of West Africa) [Antilles, 1977] B+
  • Live at the Rat [Rat, 1977] C+
  • Phil Spector's Greatest Hits [Warner/Spector, 1977]
  • No New York [Antilles, 1978] B+
  • Disco Party [Marlin, 1978] B+
  • Steppin' Out: Disco's Greatest Hits [Polydor, 1978] A-
  • Stiffs Live [Stiff, 1978] B+
  • Spitballs [Beserkley, 1978] B-
  • Woodstock Mountains: More Music From Mud Acres [Rounder, 1978] B
  • Living Chicago Blues Volume I [Alligator, 1979] A-
  • Permanent Wave: A Collection of Tomorrow's Favorites by Today's Bands on Yesterday's Vinyl [Epic, 1979] B+
  • Living Chicago Blues Volume II [Alligator, 1979] B
  • Living Chicago Blues Volume III [Alligator, 1979] B-
  • A Night at Studio 54 [Casablanca, 1979] B
  • No Nukes [Asylum, 1979] C+
  • Propaganda [A&M, 1979] C+
  • Club Ska '67 [Mango, 1980] A-
  • Wanna Buy a Bridge? [Rough Trade, 1980] A
  • Oi! -- The Album [EMI, 1980] A-
  • The Great Rap Hits [Sugarhill, 1980] A-
  • More Intensified! Volume 2 Original Ska 1963-1967 [Mango, 1980] A-
  • Fast Product--Mutant Pop [PVC, 1980] B+
  • Declaration of Independents [Stiff, 1980] B+
  • Phases of the Moon: Traditional Chinese Music [Columbia, 1981] A
  • Sound d'Afrique [Mango, 1981] A-
  • Let Them Eat Jellybeans! 17 Extracts from America's Darker Side [Virus, 1981] A-
  • Carry On Oi! [Secret, 1981] B
  • A Christmas Record [ZE, 1981] B+
  • Greatest Rap Hits Vol. 2 [Sugarhill, 1981] A
  • Hicks From the Sticks [Antilles, 1981] C+
  • I.R.S. Greatest Hits Vols. 2 & 3 [I.R.S., 1981] B+
  • The "King" Kong Compilation [Mango, 1981] A-
  • Propeller [Propeller, 1981] B+
  • Urgh! A Music War [A&M, 1981] B
  • San Francisco Blues Festival Vol. 1 [Solid Smoke, 1981] B-
  • Bowling Balls II [Clone, 1981] B+
  • C81 [NME/Rough Tapes, 1981] A-
  • Concerts for the People of Kampuchea [Atlantic, 1981] B+
  • The Secret Policeman's Ball [Island, 1981] B+
  • The Future Looks Bright [Posh Boy, 1981] B+
  • Seize the Beat (Dance Ze Dance) [ZE/Island, 1981] B+
  • Calling Rastafari [Nighthawk, 1982] A-
  • Sound d'Afrique II: Soukous [Mango, 1982] A-
  • Crucial Reggae Driven by Sly & Robbie [Mango, 1982] B+
  • Everything New Is Old . . . Everything Old Is New [Ambient Sound, 1982] A-
  • The Nairobi Sound [Original Music, 1982] B+
  • Peripheral Vision [Zoar, 1982] B
  • Singles: The Great New York Singles Scene [ROIR, 1982] B+
  • Soweto [Rough Trade, 1982] B+
  • Genius of Rap [Island, 1982] B+
  • African Music [Vertigo, 1983] A
  • Black Star Liner: Reggae from Africa [Heartbeat, 1983] B+
  • The Sound of Kinshasa: Guitar Classics From Zaire [Original Music, 1983] A-
  • This Are Two Tone [Chrysalis, 1983] A-
  • Zulu Jive/Umbaqanga [Earthworks, 1983] B+
  • Attack of the Killer B's [Warner Bros., 1983] B
  • Best of Studio One [Heartbeat, 1983] B+
  • Knotty Vision [Nighthawk, 1983] A-
  • Prelude's Greatest Hits [Prelude, 1983] B+
  • Rainy Day [Llama, 1983] B+
  • Viva Zimbabwe! [Earthworks, 1983] A-
  • Wild Style [Animal, 1983] B+
  • That's the Way I Feel Now: A Tribute to Thelonious Monk [A&M, 1984] A-
  • Beat Street [Atlantic, 1984] B
  • Beat Street Volume 2 [Atlantic, 1984] B
  • Breakin' [Polydor, 1984] B-
  • Desperate Teenage Lovedolls [Gasatanka, 1984] C+
  • Every Man Has a Woman [Polydor, 1984] B
  • The Gospel at Colonus [Warner Bros., 1984] B+
  • The Official Music of the XXIIIrd Olympiad Los Angeles 1984 [Columbia, 1984] D+
  • Reggae Greats: Strictly for Lovers [Mango, 1984] B+
  • Go Go Crankin' [4th & Broadway, 1985] A-
  • Lost in the Stars: The Music of Kurt Weill [A&M, 1985] A
  • Phezulu Eqhudeni [Carthage, 1985] A-
  • A Diamond Hidden in the Mouth of a Corpse [Giorno Poetry Systems, 1985] B
  • Television's Greatest Hits [TVT, 1985] B+
  • Tribute to Steve Goodman [Red Pajamas, 1985] B+
  • Rap 1 [Profile, 1985] B
  • Atlantic Rhythm & Blues, Vol. 3: 1955-1958 [Atlantic, 1985]
  • Soweto Never Sleeps [Shanachie, 1986] A-
  • The Indestructible Beat of Soweto [Shanachie, 1986] A+
  • Dance Traxx [Atlantic, 1986] A-
  • Good to Go [Island, 1986] B+
  • Iscathamiya: Zulu Worker Choirs in South Africa [Heritage, 1986] A-
  • Mr. Magic's Rap Attack, Vol. 2 [Profile, 1986] B-
  • Rap's Greatest Hits [Priority, 1986] A-
  • Red Wave: 4 Underground Bands from the USSR [Big Time, 1986] B-
  • Remember Soweto 76-86: Bullets Won't Stop Us Now [Mordam, 1986] B
  • Tango Argentino [Atlantic, 1986] A-
  • You Can Tell the World About This: Classic Ethnic Recordings from the 1920's [Morning Star, 1986] B
  • It Will Stand: Minit Records 1960-1963 [EMI America, 1986]
  • Reggae Dance Hall Classics [Sleeping Bag, 1987] A-
  • The Tanzania Sound [Original Music, 1987] A-
  • Back to the Beach [Columbia, 1987] C+
  • Christmas Rap [Profile, 1987] B+
  • Out of Our Idiot [Demon, 1987] B-
  • Homeland [Rounder, 1987] B+
  • Mbube! Zulu Men's Singing Competition [Rounder, 1987] B+
  • Reggae Dance Party [RAS, 1987] B+
  • Sounds of Soweto [Capitol, 1987] B+
  • South African Trade Union Worker Choirs [Rounder, 1987] B+
  • Take Cover [Shanachie, 1987] B+
  • A Very Special Christmas [A&M, 1987] A-
  • The Wailing Ultimate [Homestead, 1987] B+
  • A History of New Orleans Rhythm & Blues--Vol. 1 (1950-1958) [Rhino, 1987]
  • A History of New Orleans Rhythm & Blues--Vol. 2 (1959-1962) [Rhino, 1987]
  • Thunder Before Dawn--The Indestructible Beat of Soweto Volume Two [Earthworks/Virgin, 1988] A-
  • African Connection, Vol. 1: Zaire Choc! [Celluloid, 1988] A+
  • African Connection, Vol. 2: West Africa [Celluloid, 1988] B+
  • Folkways: A Vision Shared -- A Tribute to Woody Guthrie and Leadbelly [Columbia, 1988] A-
  • Heartbeat Soukous [Earthworks/Virgin, 1988] A-
  • Hurricane Zouk [Earthworks/Virgin, 1988] A-
  • Mr. Magic's Rap Attack, Vol. 4 [Profile, 1988] A-
  • Rai Rebels [Virgin, 1988] B+
  • The Heartbeat of Soweto [Shanachie, 1988] A
  • Zimbabwe Frontline [Earthworks, 1988] A-
  • African Acoustic Vol. 2: Kenya Dry [Original Music, 1988] B+
  • Best of House Music [Profile, 1988] B
  • Go Go Live at the Capital Centre [I Hear Ya EP, 1988] B+
  • The Go Go Posse [I Hear Ya, 1988] B+
  • Stay Awake [A&M, 1988] C+
  • Sheshwe: The Sound of the Mines [Rounder, 1988] B-
  • Hard as Hell [Profile, 1988] B
  • The African Typic Collection [Earthworks, 1989] A-
  • Black Havana [Capitol, 1989] A-
  • Brazil Classics 1: Beleza Tropical [Sire, 1989] B+
  • The Kampala Sound [Original Music, 1989] A
  • Yo! MTV Raps: The Album [Jive, 1989] A-
  • Zetrospective: Dancing in the Face of Adversity [ZE, 1989] A-
  • The Bridge: A Tribute to Neil Young [Caroline, 1989] B
  • Fresh Reggae Hits [Pow Wow, 1989] B
  • Fresh Reggae Hits -- Vol. 2 [Pow Wow, 1989] B-
  • Hip House [DJ International, 1989] B+
  • House Hallucinates: Pump Up the World Volume One [Vendetta, 1989] C
  • Konbit!: Burning Rhythms of Haiti [A&M, 1989] A-
  • The Nairobi Beat (Kenyan Pop Music Today) [Rounder, 1989] B+
  • Nuestras Mejores Cumbias [Globo, 1989] A-
  • Ram Dancehall [Mango, 1989] B
  • Scandal Ska [Mango, 1989] B+
  • Zetrospective: Hope Springs Eternal [ZE, 1989] B+
  • Billboard Greatest Christmas Hits (1955-Present) [Rhino, 1989] A
  • The Best of Doo Wop Uptempo [Rhino, 1989]
  • The Best of Doo Wop Ballads [Rhino, 1989]
  • The Carl Stalling Project: Music from Warner Bros. Cartoons 1936-1958 [Warner Bros., 1990] ***
  • Dancehall Stylee: The Best of Reggae Dancehall Music Vol. 1 [Profile, 1990] A-
  • Cuban Dance Party: Routes of Rhythm, Volume 2 [Rounder, 1990] A-
  • Hi-Jivin' [Kijima, 1990] A-
  • Hip Hop Greats: Classic Raps [Rhino, 1990] A
  • Pop-Rai and Rachid Style [Earthworks, 1990] ***
  • Red Hot + Blue: A Tribute to Cole Porter [Chrysalis, 1990] A
  • Singing in an Open Space: Zulu Rhythm and Harmony [Rounder, 1990] *
  • Ska Beats, Vol. 1 [ROIR, 1990] A-
  • The Civil War [Elektra/Nonesuch, 1990] A-
  • The Disco Years, Vol. 1: Turn the Beat Around (1974-1978) [Rhino, 1990] A
  • The Disco Years, Vol. 2: On the Beat (1978-1981) [Rhino, 1990] A-
  • Freedom Fire--The Indestructible Beat of Soweto Volume Three [Earthworks, 1990] A-
  • Where the Pyramid Meets the Eye: A Tribute to Roky Erickson [Sire/Warner Bros., 1990] *
  • Yalla: Hit List Egypt [Mango, 1990] A-
  • Spirit of the Eagle: Zimbabwe Frontline (Vol. 2) [Earthworks, 1990] A-
  • Groove 'n Grind: '50s and '60s Dance Hits [Rhino, 1990] A
  • Guitar Player Presents Legends of Guitar -- Electric Blues, Vol. 1 [Rhino, 1990] A
  • Christmas Party With Eddie G. [Strikin' It Rich/Columbia, 1990] *
  • Gnawa Music of Marrakesh: Night Spirit Masters [Axiom, 1990]
  • ¡Sabroso! [Earthworks/Virgin, 1990] ***
  • Just in Time for Christmas [I.R.S., 1990]
  • Dancehall Stylee: The Best of Reggae Dancehall Music Vol. 2 [Profile, 1990]
  • One Voice: Pride [Enigma/Ruffhouse, 1990]
  • Holy Ground: Alvin Ranglin's GG Records [Heartbeat, 1990]
  • Homeland 2 [Rounder, 1990]
  • A Creole Christmas [Epic Associated, 1990]
  • Towering Dub Inferno [Rykodisc, 1990]
  • The Best of the Girl Groups: Volume 1 [Rhino, 1990]
  • Cumbia Cumbia: A Selection of Colombian Cumbia Recordings [World Circuit, 1991] A-
  • Azagas and Archibogs [Original Music, 1991] A-
  • Cole Porter: A Centennial Celebration [RCA, 1991] B-
  • Dangerhouse, Vol. 1 [Frontier, 1991] **
  • Guitar Paradise of East Africa [Earthworks, 1991] A+
  • Jit -- The Movie [Earthworks, 1991] A-
  • Kenya Dance Mania [Earthworks, 1991] A-
  • Music of Indonesia 2: Indonesian Popular Music: Kroncong, Dangdut, and Janggam Jawa [Smithsonian/Folkways, 1991] *
  • Music of Indonesia 3: Music from the Outskirts of Jakarta: Gambang Kromong [Smithsonian/Folkways, 1991] ***
  • Risqué Rhythm: Nasty 50's R&B [Rhino, 1991] A
  • The Jazz Age: New York in the Twenties [RCA, 1991] A
  • The Kings and Queens of Township Jive: Modern Roots of the Indestructible Beat of Soweto [Earthworks, 1991] A
  • The Most Beautiful Christmas Carols [Milan, 1991] A-
  • Wild About My Lovin': Beale Street Blues 1928-1930 [RCA, 1991] A
  • Gabba Gabba Hey [Triple X, 1991] C+
  • Two Rooms -- Celebrating the Songs of Elton John & Bernie Taupin [Polydor, 1991] B-
  • Rock This Town: Rockabilly Hits Vol. 1 [Rhino, 1991] A
  • Cuba Classics 2: Dancing With the Enemy [Luaka Bop/Warner Bros., 1991]
  • Wind Your Waist [Shanachie, 1991]
  • Deadicated [Arista, 1991]
  • Rock This Town: Rockabilly Hits Vol. 2 [Rhino, 1991] *
  • H.E.A.L.: Civilization Vs. Technology [Elektra, 1991]
  • Tom's Album [A&M, 1991]
  • Africolor 2 [Celluloid, 1991]
  • Township Swing Jazz Vol. 1 [Harlequin, 1991] B+
  • Deep Blues [Atlantic, 1992] *
  • Antone's Women: Bringing You the Best in Blues [Antone's, 1992] B+
  • Buddhist Liturgy of Tibet [World Music Library, 1992] B+
  • Kickin Mental Detergent [Kickin', 1992] A-
  • MTV Party to Go, Vol. 2 [Tommy Boy, 1992] ***
  • Only for the Headstrong: The Ultimate Rave Compilation [FFRR, 1992] A-
  • Reggae for Kids [RAS, 1992] *
  • Billboard Top Hits--1984 [Rhino, 1992] A
  • The Disco Years, Vol. 4: Lost in Music [Rhino, 1992] A-
  • Mbuti Pygmies of the Ituri Rain Forest [Smithsonian/Folkways, 1992] A-
  • A*F*R*I*C*A*N E*L*E*G*A*N*T [Original Sound, 1992]
  • Cuba: Fully Charged [Earthworks/Caroline, 1992]
  • Pimps, Players and Private Eyes [Sire/Warner Bros., 1992]
  • Zouk Attack [Rounder, 1992]
  • Honkers & Bar Walkers Volume One [Delmark, 1992] ***
  • Rig Rock Jukebox: A Collection of Diesel Only Records [First Warning, 1992]
  • Dancehall Stylee: The Best of Reggae Dancehall Music Vol. 3 [Profile, 1992]
  • Berlin 1992--A Tresor Compilation--The Techno Sound of Berlin [NovaMute, 1992]
  • Zoo Rave 1 [Zoo, 1992]
  • Duke-Peacock's Greatest Hits [MCA, 1992] **
  • Street Music of Java [Original Music, 1993] ***
  • Jive Soweto--The Indestructible Beat of Soweto Volume Four [Earthworks, 1993] A-
  • Aural Ecstasy: The Best of Techno [Relativity, 1993] ***
  • Before Benga 2: The Nairobi Sound [Original, 1993] A
  • Born to Choose [Rykodisc, 1993] A-
  • Dancehall Stylee: The Best of Reggae Dancehall Music Vol. 4 [Profile, 1993] A-
  • Ethnotechno (Sonic Anthropology), Vol. 1 [TVT, 1993] ***
  • Future House: Best of House Music, Vol. 4 [Profile, 1993] **
  • Futurhythms [Medicine, 1993] **
  • Heart of the Forest [Hannibal, 1993] A-
  • I've Found My Love: 1960's Guitar Band Highlife of Ghana [Original Music, 1993] *
  • Journeys by DJ: Billy Nasty Mix [Moonshine Music, 1993] A-
  • Lipstick Traces [Rough Trade, 1993] *
  • Mbuki Mvuki [Original Music, 1993] A
  • MTV Party to Go, Vol. 4 [Tommy Boy, 1993] A-
  • Putumayo Presents the Best of World Music, Vol. 1: World Vocal [Putumayo World Music, 1993] *
  • Tougher Than Tough: The Story of Jamaican Music [Mango, 1993] A
  • Welcome to the Future [Epic, 1993] **
  • Putumayo Presents the Best of World Music, Vol. 2: Instrumental [Putumayo World Music, 1993] C-
  • The Best of Ace Records--The R&B Hits [Scotti Bros., 1993] A
  • Funky Stuff: The Best of Funk Essentials [Mercury, 1993] A-
  • Technosonic Volume 3 [Sonic, 1993] A-
  • Sweet Relief: A Tribute to Victoria Williams [Thirsty Ear/Chaos, 1993]
  • Excursions in Ambience [Caroline, 1993]
  • Méringue [Corason, 1993]
  • The Beavis and Butt-Head Experience [Geffen, 1993]
  • DJ Red Alert's Propmaster Dancehall Show [Epic Street, 1993]
  • Tresor II: Berlin-Detroit . . . A Techno Alliance [NovaMute, 1993]
  • Uptown MTV Unplugged [Uptown/MCA, 1993]
  • Calypso Calaloo [Rounder, 1993] *
  • Stone Free: A Tribute to Jimi Hendrix [Reprise, 1993]
  • Kickin Mental Detergent Vol. 2 [Instinct, 1993]
  • Bosnia: Music from an Endangered World [Smithsonian/Folkways, 1993]
  • Cream of Tomato [Moonshine Music, 1993]
  • No Alternative [Arista, 1993]
  • Rap Rhymes! Mother Goose on the Loose [Epic, 1993]
  • Stars of the Apollo [Columbia/Legacy, 1993]
  • Incredibly Strange Music, Vol. 1 [Caroline, 1994] C
  • White Country Blues (1926-1938): A Lighter Shade of Blue [Columbia/Legacy, 1994] A-
  • 1-800-NEW-FUNK [NPG, 1994] *
  • A Taste of the Indestructible Beat of Soweto [Earthworks, 1994] A
  • A Tribute to Curtis Mayfield [Warner Bros., 1994] **
  • Beat the Retreat: Songs by Richard Thompson [Capitol, 1994] A-
  • Cumbia Cumbia 2 [World Circuit, 1994] A-
  • Dance Hits U.K. [Moonshine Music, 1994] A-
  • Diggin' in the Crates, Vol. 1: Profile Rap Classics [Profile, 1994] **
  • Great Divorce Songs for Her [Warner Bros., 1994] **
  • Handraizer [Moonshine, 1994] A
  • Kwanzaa Music: A Celebration of Black Cultures in Song [Rounder, 1994] A-
  • MTV Party to Go, Vol. 6 [Tommy Boy, 1994] **
  • Oujda-Casablanca Introspections, Vol. 1 [Barbarity, 1994] A-
  • Street Jams: Hip-Hop from the Top, Vol. 4 [Rhino, 1994] **
  • Turntable Tastemakers Issue No. 1: The Sound of Cleveland City Recordings [Moonshine, 1994] A-
  • The Flintstones: Music from Bedrock [MCA, 1994] ***
  • A History of Our World Part 1: Breakbeat & Jungle Ultramix by DJ DB [Profile, 1994]
  • Vibrant Zimbabwe [Zimbob, 1994]
  • Woodstock 94 [A&M, 1994]
  • The Glory of Gershwin [Mercury, 1994]
  • Punk-O-Rama [Epitaph, 1994]
  • Concept in Dance: The Digital Alchemy of Goa Trance Dance [Moonshine Music, 1994]
  • No Prima Donna: The Songs of Van Morrison [Polydor, 1994]
  • Rock Stars Kill [Kill Rock Stars, 1994]
  • Kickin Hardcore Leaders [Instinct, 1994]
  • Lethal Riddims [Relativity, 1994]
  • Jazz at Lincoln Center Presents: The Fire of the Fundamentals [Columbia, 1994] ***
  • What Is Bhangra? [I.R.S., 1994]
  • Journeys by DJ: DJ Duke [Moonshine Music, 1994]
  • Start the Party! Volume 1 [Big Beat, 1994]
  • Rhythm Country and Blues [MCA, 1994]
  • Max Mix U.S.A. [Max, 1994]
  • Red Hot + Country [Mercury, 1994]
  • Adventures in Afropea 3: Telling Stories to the Sea [Luaka Bop/Warner Bros., 1995] A-
  • Afro-Peruvian Classics: The Soul of Black Peru [Luaka Bop/Warner Bros., 1995] ***
  • Big Phat Ones of Hip-Hop, Vol. 1 [Boxtunes, 1995] ***
  • Dada Kidawa/Sister Kidawa [Original Music, 1995] **
  • For the Love of Harry: Everybody Sings Nilsson [Musicmasters, 1995] B+
  • Kerestina: Guitar Songs of Southern Mozambique 1955-1957 [Original Music, 1995] **
  • Kneelin' Down Inside the Gate: The Great Rhythming Singers of the Bahamas [Rounder, 1995] *
  • Muziki Wa Dansi [Africasette, 1995] A-
  • Only the Poorman Feel It: South Africa [Hemisphere, 1995] A-
  • Phat Rap Flava '95 [Cold Front, 1995] **
  • Sif Safaa: New Music from the Middle East [Hemisphere, 1995] ***
  • Telephone Lobi/Telephone Love [Original Music, 1995] ***
  • The Best Punk Album in the World . . . Ever! [Virgin, 1995] A
  • Jive Nation--The Indestructible Beat of Soweto Volume Five [Earthworks, 1995] A-
  • The Secret Museum of Mankind, Vol. 1 [Yazoo, 1995] ***
  • Trance 2 [Ellipsis Arts, 1995] **
  • URBMix Vol. 1: Flammable Liquid [Planet Earth, 1995] **
  • Move to Groove: The Best of 1970s Jazz-Funk [Verve, 1995] C
  • Hillbilly Fever!: Vol. I: Legends of Western Swing [Rhino, 1995] A
  • Joe Franklin Presents . . . The Roaring '20s Roar Again [Legacy, 1995] A
  • Money No Be Sand [Original Music, 1995]
  • Ain't Nuthin but a She Thing [London, 1995]
  • Help: A Charity Project for the Children of Bosnia [London, 1995]
  • Hempilation [Capricorn, 1995]
  • Tapestry Revisited [Lava/Atlantic, 1995]
  • Macro Dub Infection Volume One [Caroline, 1995]
  • Spirit of '73: Rock for Choice [550 Music/Epic, 1995]
  • Mash Up the Place! The Best of Reggae Dancehall [Rhino, 1995]
  • Journeys by DJ: Coldcut [JDJ, 1995]
  • Love Punany Bad [Priority, 1995]
  • The D&D Project [Arista, 1995]
  • It Came from Memphis [Upstart, 1995]
  • Trance 1 [Ellipsis Arts, 1995]
  • Christine Lavin Presents Laugh Tracks Volume 1 [Shanachie, 1996] *
  • A Tribute to Stevie Ray Vaughan [Epic, 1996] ***
  • Divas of Mali [Shanachie, 1996] ***
  • Hot Luv: The Ultimate Dance Songs Collection [EMI, 1996] A
  • Jazz Satellites, Vol. 1: Electrification [Virgin, 1996] A-
  • Kwanzaa Party [Rounder, 1996] A-
  • La Iguana: Sones Jarochos [Corason, 1996] *
  • Live at the Social, Vol. 1 [Heavenly, 1996] ***
  • Make 'Em Mokum Crazy [Mokum, 1996] A-
  • Nova Bossa: Red Hot on Verve [Verve, 1996] *
  • Ocean of Sound [Virgin, 1996] A
  • Pass the Mic: The Posse Album [Priority, 1996] A-
  • Pop Fiction [Quango, 1996] A-
  • Red Hot + Rio [Antilles, 1996] **
  • Sugar and Poison [Virgin, 1996] A
  • Sweet Relief II: Gravity of the Situation [Columbia, 1996] **
  • The Night Shift [C&S, 1996] ***
  • The Secret Museum of Mankind, Vol. 2 [Yazoo, 1996] B+
  • The Secret Museum of Mankind, Vol. 3 [Yazoo, 1996] *
  • Tokyo Invasion, Volume I: Cosmic Kurushi Monsters [Virgin, 1996] A-
  • What a Bam Bam! Dancehall Queens [Shanachie, 1996] **
  • Wipeout XL [Astralwerks, 1996] ***
  • El Caimán: Sones Huastecos [Corason, 1996] A-
  • Tricky Presents Grassroots [FFRR, 1996] ***
  • Dance Floor Divas: The '70s [Rhino, 1996] A
  • Masters of Jazz: Bebop's Greatest Hits [Rhino, 1996] A
  • Roller Disco: Boogie from the Skating Rinks [K-Tel, 1996] A
  • Detroit: Beyond the Third Wave [Astralwerks, 1996]
  • Incursions in Illbient [Asphodel, 1996]
  • Abstrakt Workshop 2 [Shadow, 1996]
  • Best of Straker's: Ah Feel to Party [Rounder, 1996]
  • Dancehall Queens [Blunt/TVT, 1996]
  • A Journey into Ambient Groove 3 [Quango, 1996]
  • Badawi Presents Bedouin Sound Clash [ROIR, 1996]
  • Lach's Antihoot: Live from the Fort at Sidewalk Cafe [Shanachie, 1996]
  • Monsters, Robots and Bug Men [Virgin, 1996]
  • Hit Mix 96 Volume Two [Cold Front, 1996]
  • A Journey into Ambient Groove [Quango, 1996]
  • The Montuno Sessions--Live from Studio A [Mr. Bongo, 1996] *
  • Jungle: The Sound of the Underground [Sour/Columbia, 1996]
  • Spin Control [Imix, 1996]
  • Just Say Noël [DGC, 1996]
  • More Noize Please [Shadow, 1996]
  • America Is Dying Slowly [Red Hot, 1996]
  • Club Mix 96--Volume 2 [Cold Front, 1996]
  • Macarena Club Cutz [RCA, 1996]
  • Silencio = Muerte: Red Hot + Latin [Red Hot, 1996]
  • Gravikords Whirlies and Pyrophones [Ellipsis Arts, 1996]
  • Christine Lavin Presents Laugh Tracks Volume 2 [Shanachie, 1996]
  • Anthology of American Folk Music [Smithsonian/Folkways, 1997] A+
  • Beats & Rhymes: Hip Hop of the '90s, Part III [Rhino, 1997] A-
  • Beats & Rhymes: Hip Hop of the '90s, Part II [Rhino, 1997] A-
  • Beats & Rhymes: Hip Hop of the '90s, Part I [Rhino, 1997] B+
  • Bergville Stories [Sony International, 1997] A-
  • Big Rock'n Beats [TVT, 1997] A-
  • Closer Than a Kiss: Crooner Classics [Rhino, 1997] A
  • ESPN Presents Slam Jams, Vol. 1 [Tommy Boy, 1997] A+
  • History of House Music, Vol. 2: New York Garage Style [Cold Front, 1997] A-
  • Holding Up Half the Sky: Voices of African Women [Shanachie, 1997] **
  • Kings of African Music [Music Club, 1997] A-
  • Lesbian Favorites: Women Like Us [Rhino, 1997] **
  • MTV's AMP [Astralwerks, 1997] A-
  • Queens of African Music [Music Club, 1997] *
  • Soundbombing [Rawkus, 1997] A-
  • Real: The Tom T. Hall Project [Delmore, 1997] **
  • Strip Jointz [Robbins, 1997] A-
  • The Mystic Fiddle of the Proto-Gypsies: Masters of Trance Music [Shanachie, 1997] ***
  • The Songs of Jimmie Rodgers: A Tribute [Columbia/Egyptian, 1997] A
  • This Is Ska! [Music Club, 1997] A
  • Township Jazz 'n' Jive [Music Club, 1997] A
  • Yo! MTV Raps [Def Jam, 1997] **
  • Muggs Presents . . . The Soul Assassins, Chapter 1 [Columbia, 1997] A-
  • Anokha: Soundz of the Asian Underground [Quango, 1997] C+
  • Heritage [Six Degrees/Island, 1997] C-
  • Roots of Jazz Funk Volume One [MVP, 1997] A+
  • Dancing at the Nick at Niteclub [Nick at Nite/550 Music, 1997] A-
  • Roots of Jazz Funk Volume Two [MVP, 1997] A
  • The Power of the Trinity: Great Moments in Reggae Harmony [Shanachie, 1997] A-
  • Nuyorican Soul [Giant Step/Blue Thumb, 1997]
  • In Tha Beginning . . . There Was Rap [Priority, 1997]
  • And Then There Was Bass [Mercedes/LaFace, 1997]
  • September Songs: The Music of Kurt Weill [Sony Classics, 1997]
  • Drop Acid . . . Listen to This!! [Knitting Factory Works, 1997]
  • Éthiopiques 1 [Buda, 1998] ***
  • '80s Underground Rap: Can I Kick It? [Rhino, 1998] **
  • '80s Underground Rap: Can You Feel It? [Rhino, 1998] ***
  • Afro-Latino [Putamayo, 1998] A-
  • American Pop: An Audio History from Minstrel to Mojo on Record, 1893-1946 [West Hill, 1998] A
  • Baby Sounds: Happy Sounds to Delight Baby [Kid Rhino, 1998] ***
  • Big Beat Conspiracy: BBC 1 [Pagan, 1998] ***
  • Cuba Now [Hemisphere, 1998] A-
  • Éthiopiques 2 [Buda Musique, 1998] *
  • Éthiopiques 3 [Buda Musique, 1998] B+
  • Éthiopiques 4 [Buda Musique, 1998] *
  • Fat Beats & Bra Straps: Battle Rhymes & Posse Cuts [Rhino, 1998] *
  • Fat Beats & Bra Straps: Classics [Rhino, 1998] A-
  • Hard Rock Cafe: Party Rock [Hard Rock/Rhino, 1998] A
  • Hound Dog Taylor: A Tribute [Alligator, 1998] A-
  • Lyricist Lounge, Vol. 1 [Priority, 1998] *
  • Mama Don't Allow No Easy Riders Here [Yazoo, 1998] A-
  • Millennium Funk Party [Rhino, 1998] A
  • MTV's AMP 2 [MTV/Astralwerks, 1998] A-
  • No Easy Walk to Freedom [Music Club, 1998] *
  • Over in Glory: Favorites From Classic Gospel Groups [MCA, 1998] A
  • Red Hot + Rhapsody: The Gershwin Groove [Antilles, 1998] A-
  • The Gospel According to Earthworks [Sterns/Earthworks, 1998] *
  • The King's Record Collection, Volume 1 [Hip-O, 1998] A-
  • The Music in My Head [Sterns, 1998] A+
  • The Secret Museum of Mankind: Music of East Africa [Yazoo, 1998] *
  • Ultimate Christmas [Arista, 1998] ***
  • United Kingdom of Punk, Vol. 2 [Music Club, 1998] *
  • African Salsa [Sterns/Earthworks, 1998] ***
  • United Kingdom of Punk: The Hardcore Years [Music Club, 1998] A-
  • Hot Latin Hits/Exitos Latinos Calientes: The '90s [Rhino, 1998] D+
  • James Brown's Original Funky Divas [Polydor, 1998] ***
  • Fat Beats & Brastraps: New MC's [Rhino, 1998] **
  • Bad Boy Greatest Hits Volume 1 [Bad Boy, 1998]
  • Brother's Gonna Work It Out: A DJ Mix Album by the Chemical Brothers [Astralwerks, 1998]
  • '80s Underground Rap: Don't Believe the Hype [Rhino, 1998]
  • Return of the D.J. Vol. II [Bomb, 1998]
  • Chef Aid: The South Park Album [American, 1998]
  • Motown Sings Motown Treasures [Motown, 1998]
  • Lucky 13 [Oh Boy, 1998]
  • The Harry Smith Connection: A Live Tribute [Smithsonian/Folkways, 1998]
  • Essential DanceHall Reggae [Music Club, 1998]
  • The Real Bahamas, Volumes I & II [Nonesuch, 1998] A
  • African Ambience: The Ultimate African Dance Party [Shanachie, 1999] A
  • The Spirit of Cape Verde [Tinder, 1999] B+
  • Cape Verde [Putumayo World Music, 1999] A-
  • Casa de la Trova [Detour, 1999] A-
  • Chuck D Presents: Louder Than a Bomb [Rhino, 1999] ***
  • Knitting on the Roof [Knitting Factory, 1999] *
  • Lightning Over the River: The Congolese Soukous Guitar Sound [Music Club, 1999] A-
  • M-Boogie: Laid in Full [Blackberry, 1999] *
  • Millennium Hip-Hop Party [Rhino, 1999] A-
  • MTV: The First 1000 Years: R&B [Rhino, 1999] A
  • New Groove 3: Déconstruire le groove esoterique [REV, 1999] **
  • No More Prisons [Raptivism, 1999] ***
  • Pop Music: The Early Years 1890-1950 [Columbia/Legacy, 1999] A
  • Profilin': The Hits, Vol. 1 [Arista, 1999] *
  • Quannum Spectrum [Quannum Projects, 1999] **
  • Rawkus Presents Soundbombing II [Rawkus, 1999] A-
  • Return of the Grievous Angel: A Tribute to Gram Parsons [Almo, 1999] A-
  • Ruffhouse Records Greatest Hits [Ruffhouse, 1999] A-
  • Streets of Dakar: Generation Bool Falé [Sterns, 1999] A-
  • Strength Magazine Presents Subtext [London/Strength, 1999] *
  • The Funky Precedent [Loosegroove/No Mayo, 1999] *
  • South African Rhythm Riot: The Indestructible Beat of Soweto Vol. 6 [Sterns/Earthworks, 1999] A-
  • The Real Hip-Hop: The Best of D&D, Vol. 1 [Coldfront, 1999] A-
  • Totally Hits [Arista, 1999] A-
  • Tropicália Essentials [Hip-O, 1999] A-
  • Uptown Lounge [The Right Stuff, 1999] A-
  • Y2K: Beat the Clock Version 1.0 [Columbia, 1999] A-
  • Roots Rock Guitar Party: Zimbabwe Frontline Vol. 3 [Sterns/Earthworks, 1999] A-
  • The RZA Hits [Razor Sharp/Epic, 1999] A-
  • The Blackbook Sessions [Galapagos4, 1999] *
  • Prodigy Present the Dirtchamber Sessions Volume One [XL/Beggars Banquet, 1999]
  • Every Road I Take: The Best of Acoustic Blues [Shanachie, 1999]
  • Wu-Chronicles [Wu-Tang, 1999]
  • AP Presents Industrial Strength Machine Music [Rhino, 1999]
  • Dublin to Dakar: A Celtic Odyssey [Putumayo World Music, 1999]
  • Éthiopiques 5 [Buda Musique, 1999]
  • No Boundaries: A Benefit for the Kosovar Refugees [Epic, 1999]
  • Suck It and See [Palm Pictures, 1999]
  • Burning London: The Clash Tribute [Epic, 1999]
  • Nowcore!: The Punk Rock Evolution [K-Tel, 1999]
  • The Sidewalks of New York [Winter & Winter, 1999] A-
  • Men Are Like Streetcars . . . Women Blues Singers 1928-1969 [MCA, 1999] A-
  • Dancehall 101, Vol. 1 [VP, 2000] A-
  • Dancehall 101, Vol. 2 [VP, 2000] **
  • Ego Trip's The Big Playback [Rawkus, 2000] **
  • Harry Smith's Anthology of American Folk Music, Volume 4 [Revenant, 2000] A
  • Hip Hop 101 [Tommy Boy, 2000] A-
  • In Griot Time: String Music from Mali [Sterns, 2000] B+
  • Kwaito: South African Hip Hop [Sterns/Earthworks, 2000] A-
  • Latino Blue [Blue Note, 2000] ***
  • Loud Rocks [Loud, 2000] A-
  • Motown: The Classic Years [UTV, 2000] A+
  • Puerto Rico [Putumayo World Music, 2000] A-
  • Ragga Essentials: In a Dancehall Style [Hip-O, 2000] A-
  • Republica Dominicana [Putumayo World Music, 2000] ***
  • Select Cuts from Blood and Fire [Select Cuts, 2000] A-
  • Smooth Grooves: The Essential Collection [Rhino, 2000] A
  • Take a Bite Outta Rhyme: A Rock Tribute to Rap [Republic, 2000] *
  • The Funk Box [Hip-O, 2000] A
  • 'Til We Outnumber Them [Righteous Babe, 2000]
  • The Rough Guide to Cumbia [World Music Network, 2000] A-
  • Afrobeat . . . No Go Die! [Shanachie, 2000] ***
  • Mozambique Relief [Naxos World, 2000] **
  • Twilo Volume 1: Junior Vasquez [Virgin, 2000] **
  • Taquachito Nights: Conjunto Music from South Texas [Smithsonian/Folkways, 2000] **
  • Lyricist Lounge Vol. 2 [Rawkus, 2000] A-
  • Rebirth of the Loud [Priority, 2000] D
  • Haiku D'Etat [Pure Hip Hop, Inc., 2000] A-
  • The Rough Guide to Bhangra [World Music Network, 2000] A-
  • Grammy Rap Nominees 2000 [RCA/Grammy, 2000]
  • The Unbound Project Volume 1 [Realized/Ground Control, 2000]
  • God Bless Africa [Music Club, 2000]
  • Rebirth of the Loud [Priority, 2000]
  • Best of Trance Volume One [Robbins, 2000]
  • Platinum Christmas [Arista/RCA/Jive, 2000]
  • Solesides Greatest Bumps [Quannum Projects, 2000] ***
  • Music from the Tea Lands [Putumayo World Music, 2000] **
  • Down to the Promised Land: 5 Years of Bloodshot Records [Bloodshot, 2000]
  • Dance Hall Liberation [Heartbeat, 2000]
  • Planet Reggae 2000 [VP, 2000]
  • Salsa Clasica [Music Club, 2000] A-
  • Badlands [Sub Pop, 2000]
  • Free the West Memphis 3 [Koch, 2000] B+
  • The Best of International Hip-Hop [Hip-O, 2000] A-
  • The Rough Guide to the Music of Central America [World Music Network, 2000] **
  • The Prestige Legacy, Vol. 1: The High Priests [Prestige, 2000] A-
  • The Rough Guide to South African Jazz [World Music Network, 2000] *
  • Not the Same Old Blues Crap II [Fat Possum, 2001]
  • Chitlin Circuit Soul [Rhino, 2001] A-
  • The Rough Guide to Cuban Son [World Music Network, 2001] A-
  • Desert Roses and Arabian Rhythms [Mondo Melodia, 2001] B+
  • Keep It Rollin': The Blues Piano Collection [Rounder, 2001] A-
  • The Rough Guide to the Music of Indonesia [World Music Network, 2001] A-
  • Avalon Blues: A Tribute to the Music of Mississippi John Hurt [Vanguard, 2001]
  • Gimme Indie Rock V. 1 [K-Tel, 2001] A-
  • A Nod to Bob: An Artists' Tribute to Bob Dylan on His 60th Birthday [Red House, 2001]
  • A Break from the Norm [Restless, 2001] **
  • El Son No Ha Muerto [Rhino, 2001] *
  • Crossfaderz: Roc Raida of the X-Ecutioners [Moonshine Music, 2001] *
  • The Rough Guide to Merengue and Bachata [World Music Network, 2001] **
  • Brand New Boots and Panties: A Tribute to Ian Dury [Gold Circle, 2001] ***
  • Bombay 2: Electric Vindaloo [Motel, 2001] ***
  • Wild Pitch Classics [Wild Pitch, 2001] *
  • Vital 2-Step [V2, 2001] **
  • Mush Filmstrip (Frame 1) [Shadow, 2001] A-
  • Tea in Marrakech [Sterns/Earthworks, 2001] A
  • Tommy Boy Essentials: Hip Hop Vol. 1 [Tommy Boy, 2001] ***
  • The Beat: Go-Go's Fusion of Funk and Hip Hop [Liaison, 2001] A-
  • Classical Hits [Sony Classical, 2001] C-
  • Wayne Kramer Presents Beyond Cyberpunk [Music Blitz, 2001]
  • Boy George, Essential Mix [FFRR, 2001]
  • Arabic Groove [Putumayo World Music, 2001]
  • Girl Group Greats [Rhino, 2001] A+
  • Select Cuts From Blood & Fire Chapter Two [Select Cuts, 2001] A-
  • Alligator Records 30th Anniversary Collection [Alligator, 2001] **
  • Blind Pig Records 25th Anniversary Collection [Blind Pig, 2001]
  • Spirit of Africa [RealWorld, 2001] **
  • Farewell Fondle 'Em [Def Jux, 2001] *
  • Classic Reggae: The DeeJays [Music Club, 2001] ***
  • Hank Williams: Timeless [Lost Highway, 2001] **
  • Good Rockin' Tonight: The Legacy of Sun Records [Sire, 2001]
  • Mondo Soukous [Mondo Melodia, 2001] A-
  • Colombia [Putumayo World Music, 2001] A-
  • The Rough Guide to the Music of Greece [World Music Network, 2001]
  • Bosavi: Rainforest Music From Papua New Guinea [Smithsonian/Folkways, 2001] A-
  • The Rough Guide to Sufi Music [World Music Network, 2001] **
  • Shango, Shouter and Obeah: Supernatural Calypso From Trinidad 1934-1940 [Rounder, 2001] B+
  • Novelty Songs: 1914-1946: Crazy and Obscure [Trikont, 2001] A
  • Definitive Jux Presents II [Def Jux, 2002]
  • Africa Raps [Trikont, 2002] A-
  • The Best Bootlegs in the World Ever [no label, 2002] A
  • Desert Roses -2- [Mondo Melodia, 2002]
  • South African Freedom Songs [Making Music, 2002] A-
  • Now That's What I Call Music! 9 [UMG, 2002]
  • The History of Township Music [Wrasse, 2002] A-
  • Constant Elevation [Astralwerks, 2002]
  • Soundbombing III [Rawkus, 2002]
  • American Polka [Trikont, 2002] B+
  • Red Hot + Riot [MCA, 2002] A-
  • The Rough Guide to Paris Café Music [World Music Network, 2002] B+
  • Defining Tech [Orbisonic, 2002] C-
  • Cuisine Non-Stop [Luaka Bop, 2002] *
  • Badenya: Manden Jaliya in New York City [Smithsonian/Folkways, 2002] *
  • This Is Tech-Pop [Ministry of Sound, 2002]
  • Electric Highlife: Sessions From the Bokoor Studios [Naxos World, 2002] A-
  • The Rough Guide to the Music of Nigeria and Ghana [World Music Network, 2002] A
  • This Is Where I Belong: The Songs of Ray Davies & the Kinks [Rykodisc, 2002] ***
  • Antifolk, Vol. 1 [Rough Trade, 2002] ***
  • Call It What You Want This Is Antifolk [Olive Juice, 2002]
  • Cash Money Records: Platinum Hits [Cash Money/Universal, 2002] A-
  • The Music in My Head 2 [Sterns Africa, 2002] A-
  • Blazin' Hip Hop & R&B [Columbia, 2002] **
  • Off the Hook [Columbia, 2002]
  • The Rough Guide to Raï [World Music Network, 2002] A-
  • The High & Mighty Present: Eastern Conference All Stars III [Eastern Conference, 2002] ***
  • Raï Superstars [Mondo Melodia, 2002] ***
  • Wish You Were Here: Love Songs to New York [Village Voice, 2002] A-
  • Extra Yard [Big Dada, 2002] A-
  • Big Beach Boutique II [Southern Fried, 2002] **
  • Fat Beats Compilation Volume Two [Fat Beats, 2002] **
  • Wow Hits 2003 [Sparrow, 2002] E+
  • The Rough Guide to the Music of Turkey [World Music Network, 2002] **
  • Ghana Soundz: Afro-Beat, Funk and Fusion in 70's Ghana [Soundway, 2002]
  • The Rough Guide to the Music of Haiti [World Music Network, 2002] **
  • The Rough Guide to the Music of the Indian Ocean [World Music Network, 2002] **
  • The Rough Guide to Afro-Peru [World Music Network, 2002] ***
  • The Sound of the City: Memphis [EMI, 2002]
  • Finger Poppin' and Stompin' Feet [EMI/Capitol, 2002] A-
  • The Rough Guide to the Music of the Alps [World Music Network, 2002]
  • The Best There Ever Was [Yazoo, 2003] A
  • The Rough Guide to Highlife [World Music Network, 2003] A-
  • The Bug Vs The Rootsman Feat. Daddy Freddy/Dj/Rupture [Tigerbeat6, 2003]
  • Arabesque Tlata 3 [React, 2003] A-
  • The Kings of Highlife [Wrasse, 2003] A-
  • Anthology of World Music: The Music of Afghanistan [Rounder, 2003] ***
  • Jit Jive: Zimbabwean Street Party [Sheer Sound, 2003]
  • Ragga Ragga Ragga! 2003 [Greensleeves, 2003] A-
  • Rasta Jamz [Razor & Tie, 2003] **
  • The Rough Guide to South African Gospel [World Music Network, 2003] A-
  • The Neptunes Present . . . Clones [Star Trak, 2003] **
  • Festival in the Desert [World Village, 2003] A-
  • Mali Lolo!: Stars of Mali [Smithsonian/Folkways, 2003] ***
  • Tulear Never Sleeps [Sterns/Earthworks, 2003] **
  • Yes New York [Wolfgang Morden, 2003]
  • New York City Rock N Roll [Radical, 2003]
  • Postwar Jazz: An Arbitrary Roadmap [no label/Weatherbird, 2003] A+
  • Somewhere Over the Rainbow: The Golden Age of Hollywood Musicals [Rhino, 2003] ***
  • Down in the Basement [Old Hat, 2003] A-
  • The Rough Guide to the Music of Egypt [World Music Network, 2003] A-
  • Stomp and Swerve: American Music Gets Hot [Archeophone, 2003] B+
  • Hot Women [Kein & Aber, 2003] **
  • Martin Scorsese Presents the Blues: Warming by the Devil's Fire [Columbia/Legacy, 2003]
  • The Guitar and Gun [Sterns/Earthworks, 2003] A-
  • Compilasian: The World of Indipop [Narada World, 2003]
  • Piano Blues: A Film by Clint Eastwood [Columbia/Legacy, 2003] A
  • Masters of the Boogie Piano [Delmark, 2003] A-
  • For Jumpers Only! [Delmark, 2003]
  • When the Sun Goes Down: Poor Man's Heaven [Bluebird, 2003] A-
  • The Rough Guide to Salsa Colombia [World Music Network, 2003] A-
  • The Rough Guide to Salsa de Puerto Rico [World Music Network, 2003] **
  • Salsa Around the World [Putumayo World Music, 2003] *
  • The Rough Guide to the Music of Venezuela [World Music Network, 2003] **
  • Now That's Chicago [Legacy, 2003]
  • Saucy Calypsos Volume One [Ice, 2003] ***
  • African Groove [Putumayo World Music, 2003] *
  • Urban Brazil [Sterns/Earthworks, 2003] ***
  • Sampa Nova [Sterns Brasil, 2003] **
  • The Rough Guide to Brazilian Electronica [World Music Network, 2003]
  • The Sound of the City: New Orleans [EMI, 2003] A
  • Power of Soul: A Tribute to Jimi Hendrix [Experience Hendrix, 2003]
  • The Rough Guide to the Music of Morocco [World Music Network, 2004] A-
  • The Rough Guide to African Rap [World Music Network, 2004] ***
  • The Hip Hop Box [Hip-O, 2004]
  • The Rough Guide to the Music of Ethiopia [World Music Network, 2004] A-
  • The Rough Guide to the Music of Kenya [World Music Network, 2004] A-
  • Women of Africa [Putumayo World Music, 2004]
  • The Third Unheard: Connecticut Hip Hop 1979-1983 [Stones Throw, 2004] A-
  • Not in Our Name [Broken Arrow, 2004]
  • Nuevo Latino [Putumayo World Music, 2004]
  • Beautiful Dreamer: The Songs of Stephen Foster [Emergent, 2004] A-
  • The Rough Guide to Gypsy Swing [World Music Network, 2004] B+
  • Cafe Mundo [Sunnyside, 2004] *
  • Patriotic Country [BMG/Music for a Cause, 2004]
  • Paris City Coffee [Sunnyside, 2004]
  • Songs and Artists That Inspired Fahrenheit 9/11 [Epic, 2004] **
  • Tell Us the Truth: The Live Concert Recording [Artemis, 2004]
  • Patriotic Country [BMG/Music for a Cause, 2004] C-
  • Ultimate Worship Music [BMG Strategic Marketing Group, 2004] E
  • The Roots of Rock 'n' Roll 1946-1954 [Hip-O, 2004] A
  • Doctors, Professors, Kings & Queens: Big Ol' Box of New Orleans [Shout! Factory, 2004]
  • Unity: The Official ATHENS Olymphic Games Album [EMI, 2004]
  • Rock Against Bush Vol. 1 [Fat Wreck Chords, 2004]
  • Rock Against Bush Vol. 2 [Fat Wreck Chords, 2004]
  • Black Power: Music of a Revolution [Shout! Factory, 2004]
  • Future Soundtrack for America [Barsuk, 2004]
  • African Underground Vol 1: Hip-Hop Senegal [Nomadic Wax, 2004] A-
  • Enjoy Every Sandwich: The Songs of Warren Zevon [Artemis, 2004] ***
  • Lif Up Yuh Leg an Trample [Honest Jon's, 2004] **
  • The Rough Guide to Brazilian Hip-Hop [World Music Network, 2004] A-
  • Zambush Vol. 1 [SWP, 2004] B+
  • The Rough Guide to Mediterranean Café Music [World Music Network, 2004] ***
  • Tribal Bahia: The Best of Timbalada [Universal, 2004] **
  • Rio Baile Funk: Favela Booty Beats [Essay, 2004] **
  • War (If It Feels Good, Do It!) [Hiphop Slam, 2004] ***
  • The Rough Guide to Rebétika [World Music Network, 2004] **
  • Bats'i Son [Latitude, 2004] *
  • World 2004 [Wrasse, 2004] **
  • Sí, Soy Llanero: Joropo Music From the Orinoco Plains of Colombia [Smithsonian/Folkways, 2004] **
  • Classic Folk Music [Smithsonian/Folkways, 2004]
  • Ultra Lounge: Cocktails With Cole Porter [Capitol, 2004] *
  • Oxfam Arabia [World Music Network, 2004] **
  • Caroline, or Change [Hollywood, 2004] *
  • Memphis Celebrates 50 Years of Rock 'n' Roll [BMG Strategic Marketing Group, 2004]
  • The Rough Guide to the Music of the Balkans [World Music Network, 2004] ***
  • The Rough Guide to Boogaloo [World Music Network, 2005] A-
  • Run the Road [Vice/Atlantic, 2005] A-
  • The Rough Guide to the Music of Central Asia [World Music Network, 2005] **
  • World Psychedelic Classics 3: Love's a Real Thing [Luaka Bop, 2005] A-
  • Mali [Putumayo World Music, 2005]
  • Nouvelle Vague [Luaka Bop, 2005] *
  • New York Rocks [Koch, 2005]
  • The Rough Guide to the Music of the Sahara [World Music Network, 2005] A
  • North African Groove [Putumayo World Music, 2005] *
  • Global Hip Hop [Manteca, 2005] A-
  • Bar Bhangra [Escondida, 2005] ***
  • The Rough Guide to the Music of the Balkan Gypsies [World Music Network, 2005] A-
  • The Rough Guide to the Music of Sudan [World Music Network, 2005] ***
  • Italian Café [Putumayo World Music, 2005] *
  • Mehanata: New York Gypsymania [Mehanata, 2005] *
  • Cameo Parkway 1957-1967 [Abkco, 2005]
  • Hustle and Flow [Atlantic, 2005] ***
  • Son Cubano NYC [Honest Jon's, 2005] ***
  • Our New Orleans 2005 [Nonesuch, 2005] A
  • Another World Is Possible [Uncivilized World/UWe North America, 2005] **
  • Motown Classics Gold [Motown, 2005] A+
  • Crunk Hits [TVT, 2005] A-
  • Golden Afrique Vol. 1 [Network, 2005] A
  • Sound of the World [Wrasse, 2005] *
  • Think Differently Music: Wu-Tang Meets the Indie Culture [Babygrande, 2005] B+
  • Good for What Ails You: Music of the Medicine Shows--1926-1937 [Old Hat, 2005] ***
  • Big Boi Presents . . . Got Purp? Vol. II [Virgin, 2005]
  • Together Again: Legends of Bulgarian Wedding Music [Traditional Crossroads, 2005] *
  • One Kiss Can Lead to Another: Girl Group Sounds, Lost & Found [Rhino, 2005]
  • Golden Afrique Vol. 2 [Network, 2005] A-
  • Africa Remix: Ah Freak Iya [Milan, 2005] A-
  • The Rough Guide to Dub [World Music Network, 2005] A-
  • The Rough Guide to the Music of Brazil: Rio de Janeiro [World Music Network, 2005] *
  • Classic Rock Gold [Hip-O, 2005] A-
  • Run the Road 2 [Vice, 2006] A-
  • The Rough Guide to Bhangra Dance [World Music Network, 2006] A-
  • Turkish Groove [Putumayo World Music, 2006] **
  • The Rough Guide to Urban Latino [World Music Network, 2006] *
  • Congotronics 2 [Crammed Discs, 2006] A-
  • The Rough Guide to Planet Rock [World Music Network, 2006] A-
  • Re-Bop: The Savoy Remixes [Savoy Jazz Worldwide, 2006]
  • From Bakabush: The First Ten Years of Stonetree [Ba Da Bing!, 2006] A-
  • Journey Into Paradise: The Larry Levan Story [Rhino, 2006] A-
  • Tropicália: A Brazilian Revolution in Sound [Soul Jazz, 2006] A-
  • From Dakar to Johannesburg [Playasound, 2006]
  • Crunk Hits, Vol. 2 [TVT, 2006] A
  • Elton John's Christmas Party [Hear Music, 2006]
  • The Rough Guide to West African Gold [World Music Network, 2006] ***
  • American Hardcore: The History of American Punk Rock 1980-1986 [Rhino, 2006] *
  • Rogue's Gallery: Pirate Ballads, Sea Songs, & Chanteys [Anti-, 2006]
  • Jewface [Reboot Stereophonic, 2006] A-
  • Paris Presents: Hard Truth Soldiers: Volume 1 [Guerrilla Funk, 2006] ***
  • Why the Hell Not . . . : The Songs of Kinky Friedman [Sustain, 2006] ***
  • African Pearls, Vol. 1: Rumba on the River [Syllart, 2006] A-
  • Atlantic Unearthed: Soul Brothers [Atlantic/Rhino, 2006]
  • Atlantic Unearthed: Soul Sisters [Atlantic/Rhino, 2006]
  • Mama's Got a Bag of Her Own [Stateside, 2006]
  • Panama! [Soundway, 2006]
  • Eminem Presents: The Re-Up [Interscope, 2006]
  • Plague Songs [4AD, 2006]
  • What's Happening in Pernambuco? [Luaka Bop, 2007] **
  • Authenticité: The Syliphone Years [Sterns Africa, 2007] A-
  • Bokoor Beats [Otrabanda, 2007] A-
  • Urban Africa Club [Out Here, 2007] A-
  • The Rough Guide to the Music of South Africa [World Music Network, 2007] **
  • Singing for Life: Songs of Hope, Healing, and HIV/AIDS in Uganda [Smithsonian/Folkways, 2007] **
  • Hyphy Hitz [TVT, 2007] A-
  • The Rough Guide to Latin Arabia [World Music Network, 2007] ***
  • North Africa: The Greatest Songs Ever [Petrol, 2007] **
  • Gypsy Caravan: Music in and Inspired by the Film [World Village, 2007] **
  • The Rough Guide to North African Café [World Music Network, 2007] *
  • Hairspray [Soundtrack] [New Line, 2007]
  • Motel Lovers [Trikont, 2007] A-
  • The Roots of Chicha [Barbès, 2007] A-
  • Tropicalia: A Revolutionary Movement of Sound [Universal Latino, 2007]
  • Goin' Home: A Tribute to Fats Domino [Vanguard, 2007] ***
  • The Rough Guide to African Blues [World Music Network, 2007]
  • The Rough Guide to Bellydance Café [World Music Network, 2007] **
  • Downtown 81 [Recall, 2007] **
  • Think Global: Bellydance [World Music Network, 2007] *
  • Seriously Good Music: Gypsy Beats [Petrol, 2007] *
  • Crunk Hits Vol. 4 [TVT, 2007] *
  • The Sandinista! Project [00:02:59, 2007]
  • After Dark [Feow!, 2007]
  • Look Directly Into the Sun: China Pop 2007 [UFO, 2007] A-
  • I'm Not There [Columbia/Sony Music Soundtrax, 2007]
  • Instant Karma: The Amnesty International Campaign to Save Darfur [Warner Bros., 2007]
  • The Rough Guide to World Music: Africa & Middle East [World Music Network, 2007]
  • New York City Salsa [Fania, 2007] A-
  • Think Global: Women of Africa [World Music Network, 2007] B+
  • Bachata Roja: Acoustic Bachata From the Cabaret Era [iASO, 2007] ***
  • The Rough Guide to Salsa Dura NYC [World Music Network, 2007] **
  • The Rough Guide to Salsa [World Music Network, 2007] **
  • The Rough Guide to Latin Funk [World Music Network, 2007] *
  • The Greatest Songs Ever--West Africa [Petrol, 2007] *
  • Think Global: Salsa [World Music Network, 2007]
  • Si, Para Usted: The Funky Beats of Revolutionary Cuba: Volume 1 [Waxing Deep, 2007]
  • The Bad Boogaloo: Nu Yorican Sounds 1966-1970 [Fania, 2007]
  • The Rough Guide to Salsa Clandestino [World Music Network, 2007]
  • African Party [Putumayo World Music, 2007]
  • The Best of the Johnny Cash Show 1969-1971 [Columbia/Legacy, 2007] **
  • Belly Bar [CIA/Bellydance Superstars, 2007] **
  • Now That's What I Call Party Hits! [Capitol, 2007] A-
  • Think Global: Tango [Riverboat, 2007] **
  • Tango Around the World [Putumayo World Music, 2007]
  • Gypsy Groove [Putamayo, 2007]
  • Vee-Jay: The Definitive Collection [Shout! Factory, 2007]
  • Nigeria 70: Lagos Jump: Original Heavyweight Afrobeat, Highlife & Afro-Funk [Strut, 2008] A-
  • Body of War: Songs That Inspired an Iraq War Veteran [Sire, 2008] **
  • The Rough Guide to African Street Party [World Music Network, 2008]
  • Nigeria Rock Special: Psychedelic Afro-Rock & Fuzz Funk in 1970s Nigeria [Soundway, 2008]
  • Nigeria Special: Modern Highlife, Afro-Sounds & Nigerian Blues [Soundway, 2008] A-
  • The Rough Guide to Congo Gold [World Music Network, 2008] A
  • Umalali: The Garifuna Women's Project [Cumbancha, 2008] A-
  • The Rough Guide to the Music of the Hungarian Gypsies [World Music Network, 2008] **
  • Latin Reggae [Putumayo World Music, 2008] C-
  • The Rough Guide to the Music of Romanian Gypsies [World Music Network, 2008] A-
  • Princes Amongst Men: Journeys With Gypsy Musicians [Asphalt Tango, 2008] ***
  • Love, Peace & Poetry: Chilean Psychedelic Music [Tee Pee, 2008]
  • Disturbia Remixes [Def Jam, 2008]
  • The Rough Guide to Klezmer Revolution [World Music Network, 2008] **
  • The Rough Guide to Klezmer Revival [World Music Network, 2008] **
  • The Jewish Songbook [Shout! Factory, 2008]
  • The Rough Guide to Calypso Gold [World Music Network, 2008] ***
  • A Jazz & Blues Christmas [Putumayo World Music, 2008] **
  • Arriba la Cumbia! [Crammed Discs, 2008] A-
  • Rich Man's War [Ruf, 2008] A-
  • The Rough Guide to Colombian Street Party [World Music Network, 2008] A-
  • Delmark: 55 Years of Blues [Delmark, 2008] **
  • The Rough Guide to Cuban Street Party [World Music Network, 2008] ***
  • The Rough Guide to Latin Street Party [World Music Network, 2008] *
  • The Rough Guide to Turkish Café [World Music Network, 2008]
  • Whiskey in the Jar: Essential Irish Drinking Songs & Sing Alongs [Legacy, 2008] ***
  • Black Stars: Ghanas Hiplife Generation [Out Here, 2008] A-
  • ZZK Sound Vol. 1--Cumbia Digital [ZZK, 2008] B+
  • African Pearls: Senegal 70: Musical Effervescence [Syllart, 2009] A-
  • The Home Run EP [Yep Roc EP, 2009]
  • War Child Presents Heroes: An Album to Benefit Children Affected by War [Astralwerks/War Child, 2009] ***
  • Dark Was the Night [4AD, 2009] A-
  • Johnny Cash Remixed [Compadre, 2009]
  • The Rough Guide to Afrobeat Revival [World Music Network, 2009] **
  • Panama! 2 [Soundway, 2009] A-
  • The Rough Guide to Latin Lounge [World Music Network, 2009]
  • The Panic Is On [Shanachie, 2009] A-
  • In the Pines: Tar Heel Folk Songs & Fiddle Tunes [Old Hat, 2009] ***
  • The Rough Guide to Merengue Dance [World Music Network, 2009] A-
  • The Rough Guide to Afrobeat Revolution [World Music Network, 2009] *
  • The Rough Guide to Tango Revival [World Music Network, 2009] A-
  • The Rough Guide to Tango [World Music Network, 2009] *
  • The Rough Guide to Gypsy Revival [World Music Network, 2009] B+
  • The Rough Guide to Gypsy Music [World Music Network, 2009]
  • Dr. Boogie Presents Heavy Jelly: Essential Instrumentals 8 [Sub Rosa, 2009] **
  • Ghana Special: Modern Highlife, Afro-Sounds & Ghanaian Blues [Soundway, 2009] *
  • Beatles Beginnings [Rhythmand Blues, 2009] A-
  • Ouaga Affair: Hard Won Sound of the Upper Volta 1974-78 [Savannaphone, 2009] B+
  • Preservation [Preservation Hall, 2009] *
  • BalkanBeats: A Night in Berlin [Piranha, 2010] **
  • Next Stop . . . Soweto [Strut, 2010] *
  • Project Ahimsa Presents Global Lingo [Project Ahimsa, 2010] ***
  • Snoop Dogg Presents the West Coast Blueprint [Priority, 2010] *
  • African Pearls: Congo: Pont Sur le Congo [Syllart, 2010] A
  • Egypt Noir: Nubian Soul Treasures [Piranha, 2010] ***
  • Lagos Disco Inferno [Academy LPs/Voodoo Funk, 2010] **
  • African Pearls: Côte d'Ivoire: West African Crossroads [Syllart, 2010] **
  • African Pearls: Sénégal--Echo Musical [Syllart, 2010] ***
  • Eccentric Breaks & Beats [Numero Group, 2010] **
  • Raise Hope for Congo [Mercer Street, 2010] *
  • Broken Hearts & Dirty Windows: Songs of John Prine [Oh Boy, 2010]
  • Tribute to a Reggae Legend [Putumayo World Music, 2010]
  • Angola Soundtrack [Analog Africa, 2010] B+
  • Shangaan Electro: New Wave Dance Music From South Africa [Honest Jon's, 2010] A-
  • Scion CD Sampler v. 28--Dub Police [Scion AV, 2010] B+
  • Blow Your Head: Diplo Presents Dubstep [Downtown/Mad Decent, 2010] A-
  • Now That's What I Call Club Hits 2 [EMI, 2010] A-
  • The Rough Guide to Desert Blues [World Music Network, 2010] A-
  • Radioclit Presents: The Sound of Club Secousse Vol. 1 [Crammed Discs, 2010] B+
  • Yes We Can: Songs About Leaving Africa [Out Here, 2010] ***
  • Afro-Beat Airways [Analog Africa, 2010] ***
  • The Rough Guide to the Music of Afghanistan [World Music Network, 2010] **
  • The Lost Cuban Trios of Casa Marina [Ahi-Nama, 2010] **
  • The Rough Guide to Arabic Lounge [World Music Network, 2010] **
  • Afro Latin Via Dakar [Syllart Productions/Discograph, 2011] A-
  • Generation Bass Presents: Transnational Dubstep [Six Degrees, 2011] A-
  • Wall of Sound: The Very Best of Phil Spector 1961-1966 [Phil Spector/Legacy, 2011] A
  • Afro Latin Via Kinshasa [Syllart Productions/Discograph, 2011] A-
  • Fania Records 1964-1980: The Original Sound of Latin New York [Strut, 2011] B+
  • Nigeria 70: Sweet Times: Afro-Funk, Highlife & Juju From 1970s Lagos [Strut, 2011] A-
  • Rave On Buddy Holly [Fantasy, 2011] A-
  • Note of Hope [429, 2011] A-
  • BLNRB: Welcome to the Madhouse [Out Here, 2011] A-
  • Our Dreams Are Our Weapons: From the Kasbah/Tunis to Tahrir Square/Cairo and Back [Network, 2011] B+
  • The Lost Notebooks of Hank Williams [Egyptian/CMF/Columbia, 2011] B+
  • Sofrito: Tropical Discotheque [Strut, 2011] A-
  • Bachata Roja: Amor y Amargue [iASO, 2011] A-
  • 19 Classic Blues Songs From the 1920's: Vol. 9 [Blues Images, 2011] A-
  • The Rough Guide to African Guitar Legends [World Music Network, 2011] ***
  • The Original Sound of Cumbia [Soundway, 2011] A-
  • Blow Your Head Vol. 2: Dave Nada Presents Moombahton [Downtown/Mad Decent, 2011] ***
  • I Have My Liberty!: Gospel Sounds From Accra, Ghana [Dust-to-Digital, 2011] *
  • The Rough Guide to Bellydance [World Music Network, 2011] ***
  • This One's for Him: A Tribute to Guy Clark [Icehouse, 2011] ***
  • Listen . . . Oka! [Oka Productions, 2012] A
  • The Rough Guide to the Music of Morocco [World Music Network, 2012] A-
  • The Rough Guide to Highlife [World Music Network, 2012] A
  • Dabke: Sounds of the Syrian Houran [Sham Palace, 2012] A-
  • The Rough Guide to African Roots Revival [World Music Network, 2012] ***
  • Songs for Desert Refugees [Glitterhouse, 2012] A-
  • The Rough Guide to the Music of Ethiopia [World Music Network, 2012] A-
  • The Rough Guide to Undiscovered World [World Music Network, 2012] B+
  • Lowe Country: The Songs of Nick Lowe [Fiesta Red, 2012] *
  • Sofrito: International Soundclash [Strut, 2012] **
  • African Blues [Putumayo World Music, 2012] *
  • Diablos Del Ritmo: The Colombian Melting Pot 1960-85 [Analog Africa, 2012] A-
  • The Man With the Iron Fists [Soul Temple, 2012] **
  • The Rough Guide to the Music of Hungary [World Music Network, 2012] A-
  • Future Sounds of Buenos Aires [ZZK/Waxploitation, 2012] **
  • Fac. Dance 02: 12" Mixes & Rarities 1980-1987 [Strut, 2012] *
  • Nuggets [Rhino, 2012] A-
  • Rework: Philip Glass Remixed [Orange Mountain, 2012] **
  • In the Mix: Dancepop Anthems [Astralwerks, 2012] **
  • The Rough Guide to Caribbean Cafe [World Music Network, 2012] ***
  • The Rough Guide to the Music of Senegal [World Music Network, 2013] B+
  • Live From Festival Au Desert Timbuktu [Clermont Music, 2013] A-
  • Kenya Special [Soundway, 2013] A-
  • The Rough Guide to Acoustic Africa [World Music Network, 2013] A-
  • Ethnic Minority Music of Southern Asia [Sublime Frequencies, 2013] B+
  • The Rough Guide to African Disco [World Music Network, 2013] A-
  • Sing Me the Songs: Celebrating the Works of Kate McGarrigle [Nonesuch, 2013] A-
  • ZZK Sound Vol. 3 [ZZK/Waxploitation, 2013] A-
  • 121212: The Concert for Sandy Relief [Columbia, 2013] *
  • The Road to Jajouka: A Benefit Album [Howe, 2013] A-
  • Bambara Mystic Soul: The Raw Sound of Burkina Faso 1974-1979 [Analog Africa, 2013] ***
  • Afrobeat Airways 2: Return Flight to Ghana 1974-1983 [Analog Africa, 2013] **
  • Khat Thaleth: Third Line: Initiative for the Elevation of Public Awareness [Stronghold Sound, 2013] A-
  • The Rough Guide to Cumbia [World Music Network, 2013] ***
  • Dues Paid: The BluesTime Story [Ace, 2013] B+
  • All My Friends: Celebrating the Songs and Voice of Gregg Allman [Rounder, 2014] **
  • The Rough Guide to the Music of the Sahara [World Music Network, 2014] A-
  • The Rough Guide to the Music of Mali [World Music Network, 2014] ***
  • The Rough Guide to Arabic Café [World Music Network, 2014] ***
  • 1970's Algerian Folk and Pop [Sublime Frequencies, 2014] **
  • The Rough Guide to the Music of Palestine [World Music Network, 2014] **
  • Bring It On Home: Black America Sings Sam Cooke [Ace, 2014] A
  • Get On Up: The James Brown Story [Polydor, 2014] B+
  • Bob Dylan in the 80s: Volume One [ATO, 2014] A-
  • Link of Chain: A Songwriters Tribute to Chris Smither [Signature Sounds, 2014] A-
  • Angola Soundtrack 2 [Analog Africa, 2014] A-
  • The Rough Guide to the Best African Music You've Never Heard [World Music Network, 2014] ***
  • Cracking the Cosimo Code: 60s New Orleans R&B and Soul [Ace, 2014] B+
  • Glitterbeat: Dubs and Versions [Glitterbeat, 2014] *
  • Haiti Direct: Big Band, Mini Jazz & Twoubadou Sounds, 1960-1978 [Strut, 2014] **
  • The Rough Guide to African Blues [World Music Network, 2014] **
  • Highlife on the Move: Selected Nigerian and Ghanaian Recordings From London & Lagos--1954-66 [Soundway, 2015] *
  • Lost in Mali [Riverboat, 2015] A-
  • Have Moicy 2: The Hoodoo Bash [Red Newt, 2015] A-
  • Jon Savage's 1966: The Year the Decade Exploded [Ace, 2015] A-
  • Hamilton: Original Broadway Cast Recording [Atlantic, 2015] A
  • Compton: A Soundtrack by Dr. Dre [Aftermath/Interscope, 2015] **
  • The Rough Guide to Psychedelic Cumbia [World Music Network, 2015] B+
  • Vintage Latino [Putamayo, 2015] ***
  • The Rough Guide to the Blues Songsters [World Music Network, 2015] A-
  • Senegal 70 [Analog Africa, 2015] B+
  • God Don't Never Change: The Songs of Blind Willie Johnson [Alligator, 2016] A-
  • The Rough Guide to Bottleneck Blues [World Music Network, 2016] **
  • Blues Images Presents . . . 20 Classic Blues Songs From the 1920's: Vol. 13 [Blues Images, 2016] *
  • The Rough Guide to South African Jazz [World Music Network, 2016] A-
  • The Rough Guide to Americana [World Music Network, 2016] **
  • Senegambia Rebel [Voodoo Rebel, 2016] A-
  • The Rough Guide to Ethiopian Jazz [World Music Network, 2016] A-
  • Urgent Jumping!: East African Musiki Wa Dansi Classics [Sterns, 2016] B+
  • Southern Family [Low Country Sound, 2016] *
  • The Rough Guide to Blues Women [World Music Network, 2016] ***
  • The Rough Guide to Delta Blues [World Music Network, 2016] **
  • African Rumba [Putamayo, 2016] A
  • Chartbusters USA: Special Country Edition [Ace, 2016] ***
  • The Hamilton Mixtape [Atlantic, 2016] A-
  • The Rough Guide to Gospel Blues [World Music Network, 2016] *
  • Brexit Blues [Riverboat, 2016] **
  • Let It Be: Black America Sings Lennon, McCartney and Harrison [Ace, 2016] ***
  • The Rough Guide to Hillbilly Blues [World Music Network, 2017] B+
  • Roll Columbia: Woody Guthrie's 26 Northwest Songs [Smithsonian/Folkways, 2017] *
  • Battle Hymns [quasiband.com, 2017] A-
  • Rock and Roll Music!: The Songs of Chuck Berry [Ace, 2017] A-
  • American Epic: The Soundtrack [Legacy, 2017] A
  • The Rough Guide to Jug Band Blues [World Music Network, 2017] A
  • The Bob's Burgers Music Album [20th Century Fox/Sub Pop/Bento Box, 2017] A-
  • Howsla [Owsla, 2017] B+
  • The Rough Guide to the Music of West Africa [World Music Network, 2017] A
  • Celebrate Ornette [Song X, 2017] A-
  • American Epic: The Collection [Lo-Max/Third Man/Columbia/Legacy, 2017] A

Comments

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *