Various Artists, Balearic World

Barry Walters

By Barry Walters

on 07.26.12 in Reviews

Balearic World

Various Artists

Given Ibiza’s status as a tourist destination, one that was decidedly more esoteric in the ’80s before its nightlife reputation exploded, it’s totally appropriate that its club-music approach would be emphatically international. Balearic World combines two distinct takes on world music — native expressions of local styles, and appropriations from outside. Recorded under his short-lived Jesus Loves You moniker, Boy George’s “Bow Down Mister” celebrates the Hare Krishna spirituality that helped the star overcome his heroin addiction; it’s wacky, but oddly moving. The Brazilian acts on the other end of the authenticity spectrum — Quarteto Em Cy, Os Borges, Evinha, and Elza Soares — all combine indigenous vibes and language with boundary-crossing sounds. The rest embrace exotica that’s sometimes campy, sometimes sincere, but nearly always soothing.