This is an admirable CD and bears a space in the collection of every fan of world and New Age music. Featuring a notable lineup of acclaimed artists such as Dead Can Dance, Miriam Stockley, Celtic Spirit, Krishna Das, Natacha Atlas, and Govinda, Spirits of the World is a sonorous mix of melody, harmony, and groove. The songs have been selected for their ability to work together as a whole, and indeed, Spirits of the World is that rare compilation CD where every track is a hit. An exceptional cut is Angelique Kidjo's steamy, ardent rendering of the Gershwin brothers' "Summertime" from Porgy and Bess. You can almost smell the magnolia blossoms. Also featured is the classic "Namah Shivaya" by Krishna Das, rich with strong vocals and rhythms. Spirits of the World tops out with a favorite Dead Can Dance track, "Yulanga (Spirit Dance)," making this a truly worthwhile recording. Highly recommended. --Leslie Marini
2. Ikarus: Middle Eastern vocals with African rhythm. Surprisingly accessible.
3. Govinda: Ambient music with a middle eastern feel. Nice, but not remarkable.
4. Anglique Kidjo: What would happen if Adiemus decided to perform "Summertime" in African? I think it would go a little something like this.
5. Yasu: Japanese New Age more in the line of Jean-Michel Jarre than Kitaro, Yasu deserves a closer look.
6. Krishna Das: If Nick Cave sang Indian music, he might sound like this. Surprisingly tribal sounding in its arrangement, and not what one usually thinks of as Indian music. Great stuff, but goes a little long.
7. Natacha Atlas: OK, french lyrics, ambient music, middle eastern vocals. A real mishmash of styles, and all I can say about it is that its interesting.
8. Stanley/Stockley: The voice behind Adiemus singing with a different band. This is what I wish Adiemus would do, instead of doing the same thing all the time. Nice, but not terribly remarkable.
9. Primal Instinct: Reminiscent of the pan flute music you'd hear at The Cannery in San Francisco. Pleasant New Age music.
10. Bryan Miller: Nice, nondescript flute new age music.
11. Ga*a: Nice nondescript flute new age music.
12. Suzanne Teng: Nice, nondescripts flute new age music.
13. Dave Stringer: Wasn't expecting to have any patience for this after the last 3. Some sitar music with middle-eastern vocals. However, this is one of the best done songs with this style I have ever heard. Powerful vocals, and the sitar takes the back seat the whole way.
14. Dead Can Dance: More middle eastern music, this time fairly heavily arabic. Not one of this band's better tunes.
Why is it that a lot of world beat is heavily Indian or Middle Eastern? What about an album that only has ONE middle eastern song and ONE Indian song??? That would leave some room for Native American, and other folk styles. Were it not for this albums 3 boring flute pieces and the Dead Can Dance, this disc would be fantastic. As it is, it is good on the whole.