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  eurochrist saMMplerOne
Artist: Various Artists 
Label: 1340 Records
Time: 18 tracks, 72:40 minutes

Like many other sampler albums before it, eurochrist saMMplerOne brings together the finest bands in Europe. Also, like many other albums, most of the bands aren't immediately familiar to those not associated with European music trends. 

Despite this, the album manages to put together a wide variety of musical styles into a coherent compilation. Compared with the likes of the Goo Goo Dolls, The Choir, and Matchbox 20, the various musicians on this sampler generally live up to those comparisons. Some of the tracks are a little on the poor side production-wise, but the talent and musicianship that show through leave the listener believing the live shows must be great.

The album opens with a track from Maybe June called "Dedicated to..." The band has a definite U2 vibe behind the throbbing guitars and British accent. Track two, and probably my favorite, Fields of Harvest's "Sleep Girl," features strong guitar riffs and a slightly echoed vocal track. The song borders on emo with modern rock hooks. Like the great bands who have gone before the lyrics seem to talk about everything and nothing at the same time. They make you think deeper than the mere surface.

The album continues with "Full Bloom" by As If... which starts out with an old-time feel record player sound. The song reminds me of some of the earlier Prayer Chain work with that same ephemeral musical soundtrack, keyboard sound effects and lyrical twists.

Definitely a modern rock track, the song "Freedom" by Splat starts out on a strong bass line and then launches into full-blast electric rocking. "I found freedom, I found freedom, I found freedom, yeah." The song speaks of finding freedom from the bondage of sin.

eurochrist saMMplerOne also includes selections from several European girl bands as well. N.S.C.'s "Breakpedal," for instance is a modern rock song that speaks of growing up and moving into one's own life but still missing what was left behind. It's a coming of age song that categorizes the experiences of many young people. 

"Three In One" by Debby Barnes is a 70's style funk track that sounds like it could have been in the soundtrack for a period movie.

The compilation finishes off with an 80's rocker sound-a-like by Blue Planet, "How Many Times." The production on this track was a little shaky, but the vocalists sweet sound demonstrates her obvious talent.

Overall, while I was not entirely impressed with the musical quality, there were several tracks that warranted my attention. The various stylistic differences between songs added to the unique feel of the musical selections included in this sampler. 

Kerry Maffeo 3/17/2001

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