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Various Artists

Om: Chilled v.2

(Om; US: 19 Feb 2008; UK: 4 Feb 2008)

Unless you own a cafe or boutique, you’re most likely out of the market for “chill out” compilations. After hundreds of releases, the once-trendy format is something of a moot point. But the Om label’s penchant for sharp, jazzy house and nu-soul makes this sequel to 2006’s Om: Chilled seem like a natural undertaking. Sure, there’s plenty here that would just as easily qualify as “smooth jazz”. Gavin Hardkiss, probably the best-known name on the compilation, is a guilty party. The skillful MP3/CD programmer will find some gems, though. Techno Squirrels’ gently pulsing “Love Comes First” sounds like Norwegian songstress Annie doing downtempo, Aaron Sontag & Nica Brooke’s “Inner Peace” approximates the white noise wash of My Bloody Valentine, and King Kooba’s “Big Ole” is a tasty homage to “ambient” music pioneers Art of Noise. Hardly essential, but a bit of a nice surprise, then.

Rating:

John Bergstrom has been writing various reviews and features for PopMatters since 2004. He has been a music fanatic at least since he and a couple friends put together The Rock Group Dictionary in third grade (although he now admits that giving Pat Benatar the title of "first good female rocker" was probably a mistake). He has done freelance writing for Trouser Pressonline, Milwaukee's Shepherd Express, and the late Milk magazine and website. He currently resides in Madison, Wisconsin with his wife and two kids, both of whom are very good dancers.


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