Continuing a series already about 15 installments deep, Petrol Records issues five more discs in its globe-spanning “The Greatest Songs Ever” line of compilations. Each album focuses on a specific country, state or region from all reaches of our planet, with the latest batch representing Hawaii, Japan, India, North Africa and South Africa.
The albums are a mixed bag, either subverting or confirming your expectations about that particular style of music. As with foreign foods, either you like it or you don’t’ that’s what makes the world go ’round.
“Japan” features lots of ballads, most thankfully free of the lowest-common-denominator pop sheen generally favored by its singers. “India” is the best of the bunch, proving the country can match the U.S. and the UK beat for beat in melody-heavy electronica.
Despite my love for the state, “Hawaii” has nothing to offer musically. “South Africa” also falls into the unlistenable category, but “North Africa” manages to sneak a few tracks of pleasurable rhythm through.