Album Review of
Putumayo Presents: World Peace

Written by Joe Ross
July 2, 2019 - 3:15pm EDT
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The Putamayo label has established a reputation for high-quality world music, and their World Peace album is “a celebration of artists and statesmen seeking a more peaceful world.” Inspired by President John F. Kennedy, Reverend Martin Luther King Jr. and other peace-seeking leaders in the 1960s, the project focuses on peace as a dynamic, ever-changing process to meet challenges and solve problems of each new generation. Liner notes include excerpts from JFK’s historic speech at American University in 1963. The stage is set with inspiration and messages from the 1960s. As many parts of the world are still struggling for peace today, this album is timely. The songs’ themes still resonate to this day.

In the opener “Wake Up Everybody,” Keb’ Mo’ sings “The world won’t get no better if we just let it be, The world won’t get no better, we gotta change it, just you and me.”  Bholoja’s “Africa Unite” provides guidance for Africans’ peace and prosperity. Societal inequities moved Bongeziwe Mabandla to call for “Freedom for Everyone.” Eclectic listeners will love this sampler with many renowned artists. Each track has remarkable power with a personality of its own. The songs are impressively arranged with fluid grooves and engaging vocals. “World Peace” imparts plenty of emotional electricity as we tune into messages filled with love and hope for tolerance, humanity, empowerment, collaboration and coexistence. Let’s hope the music motivates people to lead positive change and make a difference. (Joe Ross, Roots Music Report)