This is the first time I've heard any of these CDs since I got them from the demo box. So, wuz I robbed (even though they were free)? Or did I get a good deal? Check out under the cut to find out.
Everything But the Girl, Back to Mine Rating=$$$
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How I Got This CD: Freebie from my Bordersverse Daze
A trippy, hippy, jazzy mix that keeps it relaxing and candlight low. A great chillout CD for readin', writin' or workin' it in the cube. This CD is heavy on the instrumentals and the experimentation, but still manages to give the vocals from the guest artists room to breathe and and bring character. As noted with the "guest artist" comment, crediting this CD to strictly Everything But the Girl is a little bit of a misnomer. There are an awful lot of guest artists ranging from chantereuse Beth Orton to rap act The Roots contributing vocals to the tracks. The transitions between tracks are seemless as the musical moods shift and twist the deeper you get into the CD. I'm hard-pressed to describe the music (zen-like mellow comes close), but I like it, whatever it is.
ETA: learnedhand_dj Has some additional information on this CD below. When I get demos, I don't always get the associated CD paperwork and this, I think, is one of them (or rather, I can't find it at the moment because my great CD organization project of 2005 is still ongoing). It turns out that this is a series and that this is basically a "mix tape" of songs chosen by EBTG. I was unaware of the background on this and when I did a little quick looking around online, the information on this wasn't clear. For more information on this series (do0d, am I the only one who wants the Pet Shop Boys Back to Mine collection?), read learnedhand_dj response below.
Sample Song Download: Stars All Seem to Weep by Beth Orton/Everything But the Girl
Back 2 the Future: 80's Rating=$$
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How I Got This CD: Freebie from my Bordersverse Daze.
Listen, I know this CD is supposed to suck and does, in fact, suck. I know that there is much travesty here. I know that re-mixing some bombastic 80s tunes into dance club electronica and placing them cheek-to-jowl with really bad remakes of 80s poptunes done to a DJ dance beat is a REALLY, REALLY, REALLY bad idea, musically speaking. Know what? I don't care. I adore the Velvetta cheese the CD gives me. Intellectually, I know I'm giving it up for free, but my butt dancing in the chair says that this little number totally by-passes the ear's good taste buds and hits the reptillian part of the brain.
And just as a side-note, can anyone at all located anywhere in this universe see the point of making West End Girls by the Pet Shop Boys any more dancier than it originally was? Yeah, me neither. But this CD just keeps bringing the weirdness like that on.
Of course, I freely admit that had I actually paid for it, my 'tude would be a lot more bitter. But since I got it free, I think it's a keeper, if only for the cheesy get-your-body-moving experience.
Sample Song Download: Bizarre Love Triangle by Omar Santana
Read the index for previous thumbnail reviews.
None = Avoid at all cost. Worth cutting your ears off to avoid if someone threatens to play it for you. When faced with even the threat of its cellophane-wrapped presence, your best option is to RUN AWAY! RUN AWAY!
$= If you stumble across it for cheap in a used bin, it might, maybe, perhaps could be worth the buy, but only if you need a cheap coaster for your cold drinks or a cool-looking frisbee.
$$= You might want to give this CD/artist a try, but only if the sample track tickles your fancy. Don't bother buying this one new because the good tunes you'd get out of this one ain't worth that kind of money.
$$$ = Worth looking for on a casual basis and maybe even buying new, but no big rush.
$$$$ = Definitely worth having in the ol' CD collection and definitely worth buying new, but don't re-arrange your personal "must have" list to get your hands on it.
$$$$$ = Why haven't you bought this CD yet? Go. This is a "Want. Take. Have." situation because you so want this.