compilation 8 (aware records)
year I would have worn the grooves out of The Aware Compilation #7, that is, if CDs had grooves.
It is an amazing collection of
independent and lesser known signed artists that all
fit together in the eclectic pop/rock category.
Sadly, I can't say the same thing about their
Compilation #8 lacks the cohesion of #7 and falls prey
to another common problem with compilations; the talent
is often hit and miss.
Aware has a long history of discovering "the next
thing." Train, Matchbox 20, Vertical Horizon
and numerous others were all
on an Aware Compilation disc before hitting the big
Aware takes a slightly different tack on the current
disc by including solo artists that have been with
popular bands in the past. Marty Lloyd of the
Freddy Jones Band, Glen Phillips of Toad the Wet
Sprocket and Peter Stuart of Dog's Eye View all
contribute excellent tracks. The only problem is
we've heard these guys before. I buy this
compilation to get the scoop on what's new, not on who
has left a big name band and gone out on their own.
Thankfully, the Aware folks do come through with a
couple of promising newcomers. John Mayer's
contribution of the intelligently written "My
Stupid Mouth" and "Not Myself" highlight
the disc. Mayer's Room For Squares will bow
this Spring on Aware Records. I'd say it's a
keeper if these two tracks are representin' proper.
Another notable includes Bostonian Howie Day. His
hauntingly cool "Ghost" adds a spooky flavor
to the album. Pet Engine and Riddlin'
Kids just do not seem to fit on this CD. Their
space rock and speed-punk are out of sync with
the other artists. The remaining artists, Matt
Nathanson, Will Hoge, Adam Masterson, Dispatch and the
Jay Quinn Band are all good, but seemingly provide
nothing that you can't hear by walking into your
favorite live venue in Athens or Austin on a Saturday
Overall, this compilation is a disappointment
considering the previous collection remains one of my
favorite albums. Keep an eye out for John Mayer
and fans of the now defunct Toad the Wet Sprocket might
want to look for the new Glen Phillips album.
Aware remains an excellent source for finding popular
regional artists that could hit the national scene soon.
Check them out at http://awarestore.com.