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Various Artists

Moods: You, the Night, and the Music

(ObliqSound; US: 19 Feb 2008; UK: Available as import)

Lipstick Gung-Ho

It’s a late night at a swanky upscale club.  Your heels are holding up fine, the commercial you saw earlier in the day is still telling to order a “Soco & Lime”, but you’re not one to give in to corporate temptations. An employee at said club got in a huge argument earlier about how they’ve been playing that damn Zero 7 CD all month, and most of the regulars are tired of hearing the Bargrooves series ad nauseum. So what’s going to be the soundtrack for you night of downtown flirting? In all likelihood, it’s going to be Moods: You, the Night, and the Music.


The problem that faces cityscape compilations like this is simply the context in which they are often heard in: most people, slightly drunk and very flirty,  will invariably gloss over these songs and never think twice about them. At times, this is an appropriate reaction. Other times, it’s a missed opportunity. Moods is styled much like other discs of this nature: up-tempo jazz numbers given a few splashes of synths and occasionally mixed dry with some lite trip-hop beats. Though it’s doubtful you’ll ever want to hear Osunlade’s “The Day We Met for Coffee” over and over again (the repeated title gets old really fast), tracks like the Ananda Project’s “Let Love Fly” (where a simple piano melody is given just the right mid-tempo gloss) and Nils Krogh’s “Things We Do” (about as classicist as you’ll get for a compilation of this nature) remain deliciously guilty pleasures. Top it off with the downright funky “Latin Blues Part 1” by K-Scope, and you’re in for one sexy, fantastic evening.

Rating:

Evan Sawdey started contributing to PopMatters in late 2005, and has also had his work featured in publications such as SLUG Magazine, The Metro (U.K.), Soundvenue Magazine (Denmark), the Daily Dot, and multiple national newspapers. Evan has been a guest on RevotTV's "Revolt Live!" as well as WNYC's Soundcheck (an NPR affiliate), was the Executive Producer for the Good With Words: A Tribute to Benjamin Durdle album (available for free at GoodWithWordsAlbum.com), and wrote the liner notes for the 2011 re-release of Andre Cymone's hit 1985 album A.C. (Big Break Records), the 2012 re-release of 'Til Tuesday's 1985 debut Voices Carry (Hot Shot Records), and many others. He currently resides in Chicago, Illinois. You can follow him @SawdEye should you be so inclined.


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