The Very Best of Brazil
It is, of course, quite difficult to compile a record that gives a complete and accurate view and assessment of a genre, and when you turn "genre" into "country," and that country happens to be one with a musically rich history such a Brazil, you've set yourself up for an extremely difficult, if not nearly impossible job. That being said, the compilers at the British label Nascente who put together The Very Best of Brazil don't do a bad job at getting some of the most important artists of samba, bossa nova, and the MPB movement. Antonio Carlos Jobim, Jair Rodrigues, Jorge Ben, João Bosco, Gilberto Gil, Marcos Valle, Joyce, and Elis Regina all have songs included, but there's also a lot of weight put on new artists, (DJs, and British DJs especially, have a great interest in Brazilian music; it was in fact thanks to British DJs that singer Orlan Divo had a bit of a resurgence in the early 2000s), many of whom are also influenced by electronica and the club scene. Included here are Mandrake Som, Beatfanatic, and Tom & Joyce, among others. There are inevitable omissions (Maria Bethânia, Milton Nascimento, Os Mutantes), but this is an expected and recognized consequence of anything of this nature, and the album still manages to cover a lot of ground. And what makes The Very Best of Brazil especially nice is that it doesn't stick to just the biggest hits by the artists (an exception being Jobim's "The Girl from Ipanema"), meaning that overall it's a successful compilation.