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PasteMusic.Com: Sampler II
Artist: Various Artists
Label: PasteMusic
Length: 19/72:02

The folks at Paste Music have released their second compilation CD, creatively titled Sampler II.  It features nineteen relatively unknown artists mostly in the singer-songwriter, Americana vein.  Herein follows my one sentence review on this CD:

These guys are going to cost me a lot of money.

Why?  Because from the opening strains of VOL whaling away on "You Know That" to the last chords of Vesper's "Barbing of the Wind" this CD is a revelation for those (like me) who have only heard about but not actually heard these performers.  There is no filler here ­ every song is by a talented musician/writer.

Since most of these singers are new to me, there will be a lot of comparisons drawn here.  "Today" by Innocence Mission reminds me of Leigh Nash's vocals (Sixpence None the Richer).  Claire Holley evokes Emmylou Harris on "Sea Boy."  "The Band Strikes Up Another Tune" by Ticklepenny Corner sounds like Violent Femmes being fronted by Nate Houge.

"Hello," sung by Michelle Malone, sounds like an Out of Time (REM) outtake if Natalie Merchant sang lead.  The Ryan Adcock Band ("Salt Water") recalls the best of Rusted Root.  "Lucky Break" is a Stone Temple Pilots meets Radiohead number by Jonathan Inc.  Black Eyed Dog adds "Light the Fuse," which could be the long lost Tonio K. song.   On "The Best Time" Ben Wakeman sounds like an earthier version of James Taylor, while "End of the Tunnel" (Christopher Williams) is reminiscent of Badfinger or The Band.  Marques Bovre & the Evil Twins channels early REM in their tune "Chucktruck".  

Other highlights include Luke Brindley's song "Honey Hair".  No comparison on this one, just a great song.  The same thing goes for Cara Luft's "Come All You Sailors."  And I would be remiss if I didn't mention the inclusion of storyteller extraordinaire Pierce Pettis ("Georgia Moon").

Sampler II avoids the trap of most compilations, in that they avoid going for the big names and just focus on the music ­ and it is outstanding.  Log onto www.pastemusic.com ­ check out the Mp3s of these artists and get ready to get out the credit card.

Brian A. Smith 1/30/2001


 
 
 
 
 
 

 

   
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