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    News | Andy Palacio
  2007 - The Year of Andy Palacio  

December 2007 - Cementing its place as one of the most critically-acclaimed albums of 2007, the Andy Palacio the Garifuna Collective album Wátina has been recognized by a growing number of international publications and radio charts as one of the best albums of the year, and in some cases praised as among the best albums of all time. While many Best of 2007 lists are yet to be announced, it is already apparent that Wátina will be one of the most unanimously revered world music albums in recent memory.

Wátina has been selected as the best of 2007 by both Global Rhythm and Songlines, top world music magazines in the US and the UK respectively. The critics' poll for UK music magazine fRoots named Wátina the #2 Album Of The Year (in what was reportedly a very close decision for the # 1 spot). National Geographic's online music magazine chose Wátina as the #1 album of the year.

In radio, European DJs participating in the prestigious World Music Charts Europe voted Wátina the #1 album of the year, above Tinariwen, Angelique Kidjo, Ibrahim Ferrer, Youssou N'Dour and other major figures in world music that also released albums this year. In the US, Marco Werman of PRI's The World included Wátina in his best of 2007 list, as did National Public Radio's Banning Eyre. The influential New York City radio program Soundcheck dubbed Wátina their world music album of the year.

The praise is not limited to world music specialists. The Boston Globe's music critics Siddhartha Mitter and Sarah Rodman both listed Wátina in their top 10 of 2007. As an example of the album's long reach, the indie hipsters at Stylus Magazine included Wátina in the Top 50 albums of 2007, alongside artists such as Kanye West, Radiohead, M.I.A. and Arcade Fire. Montreal weekly Voir listed Wátina as a Top 10 World Music release for 2007. On the European continent, France's trend-setting magazine Vibrations positioned Wátina in their wrap up of the 25 best albums of the year.

Mainstream press continues its praise with the UK daily The Guardian including the album in their "Top 1000 Albums to Listen to Before You Die." The list featured an overview of some of the greatest albums of all time by major figures in popular music (Pink Floyd, Charlie Parker, Jaco Pastorius, The Police, Iggy Pop - and those are just Andy's companions in the "P" section!) and Wátina was one of very few world music titles included on the list.

Early and continuous acclaim for Wátina foreshadowed these high positions in the end of year charts and critics polls. Upon its release in the beginning of 2007, Afropop Worldwide dubbed it a "landmark release". Newsday called Wátina "an album that invites superlatives. As revelatory as Paul Simon's Graceland or the Buena Vista Social Club." fRoots named it "an immediate world music classic." Influential world music DJ and journalist Charlie Gillett wrote in the UK Observer Music Monthly that Wátina was "part of the soundtrack that defines 2007" Indeed, at the close of the year with Wátina in the top picks for 2007, these predictions have rung true.

These best-of lists put an exclamation point on what has been an incredible year for Andy Palacio and the worldwide recognition of Garifuna music. Palacio was named a UNESCO Artist for Peace and won the prestigious WOMEX Award in 2007. Wátina was also nominated for the BBC Radio 3 World Music Awards. At home in Belize, the international success of Wátina has sparked a revival of Garifuna music, as young musicians have become inspired by Palacio's example. In September, Palacio was conferred the Order of Meritorious Service by Prime Minister Said Musa.

After a truinfant 2007 European and North American tour, Andy Palacio & the Garifuna Collective returned home in early November to perform three hugely popular WATINA concerts- first in Belize City at the Brodies parking lot on the Northern Highway; then in Dangriga at Why Not Island and the third where WATINA was recorded in the small Garifuna village of Hopkins on the eve of Garifuna Settlement Day. In 2008, Andy and the Garifuna Collective will continue bringing their music to the world with an even more ambitious touring schedule. They will be joined on stage by members of The Garifuna Women's Project whose album UMALALI will be released in Belize and the USA in March and in rest of the world in April. Produced by Ivan Duran, who also produced Wátina, the Umalali project will surely bring even more attention to the unique music and culture of the Garifuna people of Belize and Central America.


World Music Charts Europe -
  #1 Album of the Year
National Public Radio - Banning Eyre (USA) -
   Top 10 World Music Album of 2007
Global Rhythm (USA) -
  #1 Album of the Year
Songlines (UK) -
  Best of 2007
National Geographic Music (USA) -
  #1 Album of the Year
Froots BBC Radio 3 Critic's poll (UK) -
  #2 Album of the Year
BBC Radio 3 Awards for World Music (UK) -
  Nominated in Best of Americas Category
The Guardian (UK) -
  Top 1000 Albums to Listen to Before you Die
Vibrations (FR) -
  Top 25 of 2007
Liberation (FR) -
  World Music Album of the Year
l'Humanité (FR) -
  Best of 2007
Stylus Magazine (USA) -
  #41 Top Fifty Albums of the Year
Afropop Worldwide (USA) -
  Top Ten Albums of 2007 (USA) -
  #1 International Album of 2007
Voir (Canada) -
  Top 10 World Music Album of 2007
PRI's The World (USA) -
  Best of 2007
The Boston Globe (USA) -
  Top 10 of 2007
The Observer Music Monthly (UK) -
  #28 Album of 2007
WNYC Soundcheck New York, NY (USA) -
  Best World Music Album of 2007
WBEZ New Sounds Chicago, IL (USA) -
  Best of 2007
KAOS Spin the Globe Olympia, WA (USA) -
  Best of 2007
KMUW Global Village Wichita, KS (USA) -
  #1 Album of 2007 -
  Top 10 of 2007
musicbox online -
  Top Ten Album of 2007
The Gazette (Canada) –
  Top 20 albums of the Year
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