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Chrysalid: Musicians for Katrina Relief  
Artist: Various Artists
Label: KVR Community
Length: 2 discs Disc 1 19/73:52/ Disc 2 20/73:55

A noble project, Chrysalid is comprised of thirty-nine songs from a variety of artists and styles who have banded together in an effort to raise money for victims of Hurricane Katrina.   Like most compilations, it is a hit and miss piece, with some amazing songs that will ultimately get lost to history, and some other works that probably deserve that fate.

There is quite a bit of computer-generated music here: much of this has been done with programming and loops, and should be filed under "ambient."   "Eye of the Storm" (Vurt) and "Time Returns All Legends to Glory" (Benedict) are in this vein, as are "A Slice of Moog" (Griels), and "Crestfallen" (Dan Tootill).   The best of disc one is "Never Again," a tune mourning New Orleans.  Van Greco's vocals here recall Alan Parsons' work in the late 70's.  Another standout is "Paradise" by Bluedad & Horse, which is sort of a Dire Straits meets Crowded House work.  "Till the Clouds Roll Away" (Brent Randall) is a somewhat plaintive Mark Schultz-like number. 

Disc two is all over the map sonically.  "Life at the Superdome (The Waiting Game)" is a hip hop piece by AllenpOet that convicts the listener.   "Scream (Your Name)" is more industrial meets emo, and feels almost like t-willy feat and ModeSeven did this as a mashup.  "She Did Me Wromg" (poepe) is an r & b remix, and "Bourbon Street Boat" (Herodotus featuring Sascha Frank) is a bluesy jam that evokes a picture of a New Orleans club at 2 am.   "Soul Music" (Patrick9) is a reworking of "When the Saints Go Marching In" with new lyrics, while "kzoulewillenziggen" by UskanK is a head scratcher filled with foreign phrases backed by a techno beat. 

There is obviously a lot here.  In fact, I'd venture to say there is too much here.   While I applaud the contributors here, a good editor or producer would have been in order to cut this project down to one disc.  At just under two and a half hours, it is difficult to take all of this on at one listen (granted, that may be the point).   Still, anything that reminds us that New Orleans and the surrounding areas need our help can't be a bad thing.

Brian A. Smith
31 May 2006



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