The magic of Putumayo’s compilations is their authentic and handpicked feel, and,...
Robert Jackman 2007
Whisky, rushing mortality and selfish lovers – these are themes more suited to an Irvine Welsh novel than a Putumayo compilation.
And how the lyrics of Americana will fit with Putumayo’s ‘guaranteed to make you feel good’ tagline remains to be seen.
But don’t take this as a criticism of the album. It’s just a quick word of caution: if you’ve come looking for the usual mood-boosting stuff, then these narratives – loaded with drink-dulled pains and dusty memories – probably aren’t what you have in mind.
Although you’ve probably already guessed as much. After all, American roots music isn’t the usual territory of Putumayo – but Americana, a mixture of contemporary bluegrass and country folk music, doesn’t suffer for that.
The magic of Putumayo’s compilations is their authentic and handpicked feel, and, thankfully, Americana is no exception. When you’re lost in its rebellious charm it’s quite easy to believe that each track was picked personally for you.
Be prepared to be particularly charmed by the gloomy folk of Josh Ritter – it’s dark, and at times almost nihilistic, yet it’s always enchanting. And when it comes to eccentric bluegrass outfit RobinElla, you’ll be very grateful for the introduction – although it might feel long overdue.
Again, Americana is a little different from what we’ve come to expect – but by the end of the record you’ll have to come to understand how it fits in. For isn’t that what Putumayo deal in – diversity? And with Americana they’ve dealt us another treat.