With the mega-tizzy of a state the world’s in these days (scary diseases, scarier heads of state, crummy economy, smaller containers of yogurt, etc.) there is one problem I can help out with: with all the compilations of modern/contemporary African music in the bins, which one to get? Short form answer: this one. Why? For one thing: consistently scintillating sonics - even on my as-primitive-as-can-be sound system, the sound quality fills the room -- both warm and vibrant. For another, the sheer scope: the effervescing multikulti of Afro Celt Sound System, the madly infectious, horn-heavy James Brown old-school funk of Tony Allen, the kaleidoscopic approach of Gigi (weaving in West African folk stains with funk horns and rock guitar) and Mali Music’s traditional Malian folk tweaked with some judicious brain-twisting dub effects, just to enumerate a few examples. Needless to say, for hardcore/uptight Purist-types this album is not - but for those with even a casual interest in modern African sounds, or them that hanker after a powerful organic groove, African Xpress will be a revelation.... or at the very least, a potent portable party waiting to happen.