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24 juin 2008

Various Artists, "Big Blue Ball" (Real World) 3 stars

PLAYBACK By Kevin O'Hare /Mass

Some albums take a little longer to see the light of day than others, and you can consider this one of those.

It's been in the works nearly 18 years.

In 1991, 1992 and 1995 Peter Gabriel opened his Real World studios to an array of international artists including such Western stars as World Party's Karl Wallinger and Irish singer Sinead O'Connor.

It has taken a long, long time for those tracks to see the light of day but they have now, with mixing finished in January of 2008. Not surprisingly the 11-track collection offers a sparkling international celebration of the arts, from Papa Wemba's amazing vocals against flamenco guitar in "Shadow," to Gabriel-led tracks like the innovative "Exit Through You," and "Burn You Up, Burn You Down," the latter which also features the Holmes Brothers.

"Whole Thing," the first single, offers a beautiful vocal by Gabriel and the often-underrated Wallinger takes front and center on the title track.

What's all the more amazing is that they left a ton of songs recorded for this album on the cutting room floor for the time being, including a version of Van Morrison and The Holmes Brothers singing Sam Cooke's "That's Where It's At."

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