While it seems like Lady Gaga and Justin Beiber won’t get off the popular radio, in my opinion the best dance music comes from everywhere BUT America. I travel the world when I listen to the insatiable grooves of Lebanon and am transported through time and space when I walk through the gray Seattle streets with Bhangra pumping into my ears. Expand your horizons from music you can lyrically understand; it’s funny how just listening to a three-minute song can take you around the globe and back.
- Ah W Noss by Lebanese superstar Nancy Ajram is one of my favorite albums. Also, Elli Etmanetoh by Nawal Al Zoghbi is full of great songs; these two women’s beautiful voices over party-ready beats are unforgettable. There’s really no easier way to feel like you are in a Middle Eastern club, and it’s fun to pretend as you dance along to the infectious rhythms. These two CDs actually helped influence me to start learning Arabic, but even if you don’t speak the language it is impossible not to sing along after your fiftieth listen.
- Turkish Groove by Putumayo is another good CD for low-maintenance travel to the Middle East. The upbeat tempos and unusual instruments make for fun dance music, and the CD mixes diverse influences, with occasional Spanish and possible sitars.
- I literally found it impossible not to dance even after the fifth time in a row of listening to The Rough Guide to Bhangra Dance. I was transported into Bollywood; each insanely exciting song offers crazy dancebility. Seriously, the best pump-up songs ever. ‘Nuff said.
One side note: you may have noticed that I left out the amazingness that is French Pop (there’s something that makes normal pop music sound better when it is sung in French). My favorite French singer is Alizee, who the library doesn’t own any CDs by. This is a travesty, which I have already worked on changing here. The library takes suggestions on new material to buy if you submit a suggestion. Anyway, give the song ‘Moi…Lolita’ a listen on YouTube; it’s one of my major obsessions.
-Margaret, 16, Teen Center Advisor