Morning Becomes Eclectic

Morning Becomes Eclectic

Various Artists

Mammoth

Although this compilation is nothing more than shameless self-promotion for KCRW, a station somewhere west of the Mississippi with live performances and the gall to reference themselves as “legendary,” the variety of quality music bundled up on this collection is still worthy of some attention. Favoring the softer, more relaxed side of rock-n-roll, there are a few that break the mold — specifically the Freestylers’ appropriately entitled dancehall rap number, “Dance Hall Vibes.” However, for the most part, if names like Sixpence None the Richer and Morcheeba are synonymous with “deterrent” for the curious listener, then such said listener might want to turn their head the other way.

However, excepting the aforementioned names, there are a few precious sundry standouts breaking the flat-lined mold. Cake’s “Is This Love?” is just as crunchy, funky, and interestingly paced as you’d come to expect from the band, and Lyle Lovett’s folky and ultimately very cute (and possibly allegorical) “Bears” is embarrassingly quite charming. Sixpence None the Richer turns in a light, acoustic version of their hit, “Kiss Me,” which might engage fans of theirs, and Brad Mehldau’s jazz piano trio makes a wonderfully enthralling version of Radiohead’s “Exit Music (For a Film).”

There are, of course, the more repugnant points of compilation. Pink Martini produces a highly creepy and unsettling version of “Que Sera Sera,” taking the fatalistic old song to new unapproachable lows, and Buffalo Daughter adds “Socks, Drugs & Rock ‘n’ Roll” which, as the name might imply, is just plain stupid. However, for a promotional compilation, Morning Becomes Eclectic is quite appropriately named. There are plenty of twists and turns along this album, and some musical doorways might even be wedged open in the minds of the compact-disc beholder. But still, if the idea of bands that have graced the radio waves turns your knob in the wrong direction, this compilation might not be your thing.

Mammoth Records, The Broadstreet Building, 101 B Street, Carrboro, NC 27510-1834; http://www.mammoth.com

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