Various : Streetvibes 7

The ever-blurring line between pop and soul is celebrated on Streetvibes 7...

Every decent compilation should represent its genre in a way that will satisfy the newcomer as well as impress existing enthusiasts. In their six previous editions, Streetvibes have succeeded in providing the hippest and most relevant players in black music, while also managing to include one or two cuts of pure, unadulterated tack – the last one featured one of Richard Blackwood’s pop-rap unmentionables. This time, Dane Bowers is the rude (and rotund) imposter, with his diabolical ‘Shut Up And Forget About It’ sneaking into the first half of disc two.

There’s also more offensive cacophony that drops in from the rear end of Bomfunk MC’s, but aside from these and maybe a couple more such serious discrepancies, there’s, sure enough, the creme de la creme in today’s inter-merging of hip hop, R&B and garage. A strong opening of one of the best mixes around of Craig David‘s ‘Rendezvous’, followed by Destiny’s Child‘s ‘Independent Woman’, sets the jumped-up tone of what is to come – tracks from Pink, Nelly, Q-Tip, Sisqo, Busta Rhymes et al, and disc one’s highlight, ‘Oh No’ by Mos Def and Pharoahe Monch featuring Nate Dog.

More adventurous is the almighty array of names offered by the soul-oriented disc two, where Jill Scott‘s exceptional ‘Getting’ In The Way’ rides with Shaun Escoffery and Sade’s ‘By You Side’. Even Debelah Morgan makes an appearance, and All Saints are only one track away from TLC‘s ‘Unpretty’. Streetvibes is not afraid of pop and the pop world is no longer afraid of black music – the result is a compilation that speaks to everyone.

Diana Evans