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World Music CD Reviews Europe

Various Artists

By Tom Jackson
Published March 16, 2007

Turkish Groove
Putumayo 248


As a rule, it’s easier for a polished pop industry to thrive in countries where language allows them to enlarge their market. So Spanish pop informs South America and vice versa. Portugal and Brazil. The USA and everywhere. Turkey, though, rather satisfyingly bucks the trend, blithely generating some of the slickest, hookiest, most appealing pop, all to shuffling Turkish beats. The nice people at Putumayo have cherry-picked big hitters from the recent charts: pin-ups with happening dance moves, Tarkan and Mustafa Sandal whisper their declarations of love, while Eurovision Song Contest winner Sertab Erener contributes the quirky “Buda.” The younger performers—check out the disco strings on “Ayrilik Günü” from Goksel and the gypsy-Arab stylings of Nilgul’s “Pis Pisla”—are balanced by the grande dame herself, Sezen Aksu, in fiery form. Another fine sampler, and like the best Mediterranean appetizers, leaves you wanting more of the same.