Various Putumayo Presents "A New Groove"

Though the title suggests that the latest instalment in this Putumayo series fits safely in the groove genre, it peaks the listener’s interest to find out just what exactly is considered "new groove,” and which artists qualify for this album, given the international taste of the label. Defined as "songs from DJs, producers and musicians who have started out as bedroom producers and found their sounds spread world-wide via the internet and digital radio,” what it mostly translates to is a compilation of artists who use ProTools to make fairly generic takes on funk and electronics crossed with global sounds. Canada’s contribution is K-os’s "Crabbuckit,” which is mildly better than the majority of the grooves here. Many of the songs, like the Latin-reggae-infused "In the Back of the Car” by Denmark’s Emo, the Cuban horn-based "The Lost Song” by the Cat Empire (Australia’s answer to boring hippie jams) or the inclusion of a Thievery Corporation song remixed by Kid Loco, which is kind of an irrelevant throwback to Euro-chill millennium beats, clearly lack true musical soul and even such simple subtleties as a strong drum-beat or spicy horns. The jazzy lounge voice and lush orchestration of Brit Alice Russell’s "High Up on the Hook” is unfortunately, not enough to save this album, which (gasp!) even includes an entry from Bitter:Sweet, the new project of a former Supreme Being of Leisure. Real grooves come from the heart, not a click of the mouse. (Putumayo)