Various Putumayo Presents South Africa

Seeking to capitalize on the world's attention on South Africa for the Soccer World Cup, the latest addition to Putumayo's world music compilations is a well thought-out collection of South Africa's best. It feels like a sequel to 2000's Putumayo Presents: South African Legends, with the addition of vibrant newer bands, along with veterans Miriam Makeba and the Soul Brothers. The NYC and Cape Town collaboration between Masauko Chipembere and Neo Muyanga (who form the duo Blk Sonshine) gives rise to a fantastically groovy blend of hip-hop and Afro-jazz on "Nkosi." Combined with the African reggae of Zoro and the contemporary pop balladry of Kaya, they superbly balance the record with old and new. Additionally, the Grammy Award-winning Soweto Gospel Choir and acclaimed singer Phinda, backed by the group Mahube, provide the luscious, spine tingling harmonies we've come to associate with the country thanks to The Lion King. (Putumayo)