Greatest Hits Vol. II
Of Trampoline Records, the company he formed with Rami Jaffee and Marc Dauer, Pete Yorn says, "our purpose it to expose the world to good music." This second compilation of the label's artists certainly succeeds in doing so.
Like its predecessor, Greatest Hits Vol. II mixes interesting covers and outtakes from Yorn himself, Jaffee's Wallflowers and Dauer's Jukebox Junkies with contributions from a host of talented unknowns for whom Trampoline hopes to provide a springboard.
Perhaps most interesting is "Everything In My Pocket" by none other than actress Minnie Driver, who, as it turns out, used to be in a teen punk band called The Drunk Sluts. Her self-written song is a surprisingly good atmospheric ballad, showing that she has moved far from her punk roots. Semisonic's Dan Wilson provides a sneak peek of his forthcoming solo album with "All Kinds," while the Wallflowers’ take on Julian Lennon's "Too Late for Goodbyes" is superb.
Yorn's energetic cover of Junior Kimbrough's "I Feel Good Again" will no doubt impress his legions of fans, just as Liz Phair's spiky "Don't Apologize" will appeal to hers. But Greatest Hits Vol. II is not just about the artists we already know.
If the pop-flavored Americana of "About A Girl" by Chris Stills is anything to go by, his forthcoming solo record should be one to watch in 2004. "Different Kind of Heartache," by St Louis's Nadine, hints at a fresh, contemporary take on roots-rock. There really is an abundance of quality here, including offerings by LA singer-songwriters Michael Miller and Kip Boardman. But it's the scuzzy rock and roll of "Blue Eyes" by The Few which stands out among some very tough competition.
Diverse, thoughtfully arranged and with plenty to maintain the interest of even the most picky listener, Greatest Hits Vol. II is how true musical talent should be unearthed.
Trampoline Records: http://www.trampolinerecords.com/