There is no shortage of music releases for the Fifa 2014 World Cup.
Yes, there is enough sandy beach carnival tunes to keep you up for the entire World Cup tournament this year.
But quantity doesn’t always equate to quality. You just have to be a little more wary when browsing the record store racks.
One of the easily recommended releases comes from British tastemaker Gilles Peterson, who has organised a hip collective called Sonzeira and signed it to his label Talkin’ Loud. The group’s results can be heard on the enjoyable album Brasil Bam Bam Bam (Universal).
Boasting 13 tracks, this Brasil Bam Bam Bam album is a blissed out charmer brimming with soulful twists and low-slung grooves. Peterson has assembled a reputable cast to capture the Brazilian spirit in a mostly mellow acoustic-slanted light.
The vibe is new generation tropicália, bossa nova and baile funk. And it works. There’s David Bowie-loving Seu Jorge in lively breezy form while samba legend Elza Soares, 76, scores a husky-voiced stunner with a version of Aquarela Do Brasil. For a keeper beyond the World Cup, Brasil Bam Bam Bam is a fine pick.
Then again, World Cups are about parties. The 3CD package Brasil! (Universal) is the sort of all-ages party monster to take home.
Loaded with 50 tracks, Brasil! is a game of two halves (and a jazzy third disc to cool your boots). The first disc is all Adriana Lima-type party bangers. You could also be flying like Robin van Persie in no time with clubland cuts from Black Eyed Peas & Sergio Mendes, Bonde Do Role, and Cal Tjader & Fila Brazilia.
The second disc is the real treat here with 1960s/1970s tropicália classics from Jorge Ben, Gal Costa, Elis Regina, Os Mutantes, Tim Maia and Gilberto Gil stealing the show. Sadly no Caetano Veloso or Tom Ze in sight, which is rather disappointing.
As we mentioned earlier, disc three is a more Brazil-lite affair, with Astrud Gilberto and the sort, soundtracking the relaxed, prosaic selections.
Also from Universal is the Pepsi: Beats Of The Beautiful Game compilation which lists a pretty diverse selection of artistes. From Santigold and Janelle Monae to Rita Ora and Pearls Negras, this album is not a bad choice to keep among your stash of CDs.
Elsewhere, Bem Brasil (Universal), is just what you need to crank up a street party. Curated by Fatboy Slim, this 20-track dance-centred compilation is a blur of beats, hypermarket funk and festival fun. It’s as cheesy as a pão de queijo (Brazilian cheese buns) overdose, especially with Fedde Le Grand updated on Put Your Hands Up For Brasil.
Norman Cook’s old buddies like Carl Cox, John Digweed, Joey Negro and DJ Fresh are also part of the dad’s army dance action. It would also take a lot to resist Fatboy Slim and Bahia-based Afro Brazilian outfit Olodum’s reworking of Weapon Of Choice.
However, heavy-handed remixes on vintage cuts from Jorge Ben, Elis Regina and Gilberto Gil might turn away purists.
Bem Brasil sounds like it has an expiry date once the World Cup euphoria is over. So you have been warned.
The official One Love, One Rhythm album (Sony Music) is a lamentable release, to say the least. Featuring 18 appalling tunes, this album – all fizz, all filler – sounds as cool as a capoeira dance-off between Fifa president Sepp Blatter and former Fifa vice-president Mohamed Hammam.
In short, One Love, One Rhythm is a spectacular own goal that screams: straight to bargain bin.