28 November 2005

Monday's mp3: World Song Festival 2005

The World Song Festival is a shady little operation. Well, it's not that shady compared to some politicians. It's just a quiet little competition with indistinct rules run by a fellow in Norway. I became one of the Festival's celebrity judges in 2005, and did my best to fairly judge the 91 competing songs using the strict criterion "vote for the songs you like the most." I'm still unclear on the nomination procedure, and it quickly became clear that there is a strong world-pop bias in the entries. I chose songs that had a somewhat unique sound, had some connection to the ethnic roots of the country, and that, well, I liked the most. Here, for your listening pleasure, are this week's Monday's mp3s of my Top 5 World Song Festival 2005 Finalists, along with their overall ranking by the 86 judges from 60 countries.

My ranking (overall ranking) - Artist (Country) - Song
1. (84) - Alb Negru (Romania) - Noi doi
2. (7) - Juanes (Colombia) - La camisa negra
3. (33) - Nawal El Zoghbi (Lebanon) - Khod albi
4. (61) - Sun Shu Mei (Taiwan) - Ai qing qie qie
5. (1) - Nadya (France) - Signes

I'm perversly proud to have selected as my top song one that other pop-minded judges ranked near the bottom. And somehow, I did manage to get the overall #1 song in my top 5. Of these artists, I was somewhat familiar only with Juanes and Nawal El Zoghbi. Hope you enjoy these tracks, and may they lead to further musical explorations.
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