various artists,
Songs of Struggle & Resistance
from Around the World

(Ellipsis Arts, 2004)

This unique compilation of world music exposes the listener to protest songs from America (Pete Seeger, "Waist Deep in the Big Muddy") to Zimbabwe (Paite Rima, "Stella Chiweshe"). This is not the caterwauling of a bunch of trade unionists singing strike anthems around the burning barrel, but rather largely bright and upbeat melodies with choruses that "may not move me or mean a great deal to me, but hey! It feels so groovy to say."

The detailed booklet describes the songs of Gabon, Jamaica, Ireland and more, so while you are enjoying humming and singing along you will have some idea of the radical ideas you are vocalizing -- even if you do not know the language.

This is the bellwether release of the new WorldSpirit line from Ellipsis Arts. Rather than geographically packaged compilations like Putumayo (although the packaging is surprisingly similar), where the surprise is gone after the first track, these releases will be themed releases tying together different cultures.

- Rambles
written by Tom Schulte
published 13 November 2004

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