Putumayo Presents: Australia
Putumayo World Music/Ode
I’m not sure what this version of Australia is meant to represent – or who it’s meant to represent, or how…it’s really only the Australia of the gift shop that this new Putumayo compilation caters to/for. And that’s okay I guess. There’s some alright stuff here – it’s hardly ever interesting. You can’t say that Paul Kelly is bad and the closing track here, Kelly with Archie Roach singing We Won’t Cry is most certainly a highlight. But I think a better reflection of Australia might be any Paul Kelly CD.
Colin Hay prostitutes himself with an acoustic re-tread of his Down Under. But there are some voices truly worth hearing here – such as Goeffrey Gurrumul Yunupingu, that voice is wonderful and if this compilation is your introduction to him and his world, his sound – then that’s something worthwhile I should think.
But Xavier Rudd – that’s not real.
And where is the Aussie voice that’s so well expressed in the songs of Don Walker, the protestations and pronouncements and proclamations of Midnight Oil? Where for that matter is Icehouse or, well, of course you can keep going.
I guess this serves a purpose – sells a version of Australia to people that have just visited, are thinking of going; to those too who collect Putumayo’s compilations. I like what this label does, most of the time, with regard to introductions to genres, worlds, particular sounds – but this particular album is more a case of aversion of/to Australian music for me.