A/V Room









Word of Mouth - Various

Review: Jack Foley

IT'S a good idea - take some of the most overlooked names from a record company's archives and put them on an album in the hope that it will make the more discerning listener search out more about the bands in question.

Word of Mouth follows Warner Music's Future Vintage collection last year and is a meticulously compiled album full of tracks that deserve greater recognition.

Some of the names are familiar, others are not; but most would warrant further exploration of the artists in question.

Principal among them is the Fountains of Wayne, an American outfit frequently credited with being the masters of the indie-pop record.

Troubled Times is an absolute belter of a single, a soft, hopelessly heartbreaking record that is certain to have you singing along to it, while imagining some out-of-reach love interest, or childhood sweetheart.

Taken from the Utopia Parkway long-player, it is indicative of the sort of quality we've come to expect from the Fountains, and which made their latest album, Welcome Interstate Managers (Stacie's Mom, Mexican Wine), one of the finest of last year. We would urge you to buy it.

Also of note, is Ben Kweller's guitar-pop friendly, Family Tree, taken from the Sha Sha album, or Ween's Freedom of '76, which takes the form of a brilliantly funny, yet sexy tribute to the 70s Philly Soul.

The magnetic beauty of The Flaming Lips (pre-Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots) also gets a look in, with the space-rock laden Bad Days providing an early indication of untapped genius, and evidence of where The Polyphonic Spree take much of their inspiration from [the track appears on Clouds Taste Metallic].

It's also an enticingly eclectic mix, packed full of exuberant, mellow, good-natured, spirited and challenging material, from Marc Ribot's infectious Cuban jazz (Dame Un Cachito Pa'Huele) to Japanese girl duo, Cibo Matto, and their hip-hop-and-fractured-pop record, Sugar Water.

Not everything will make you want to rush out and buy more from the artists, but it does, at the very least, offer the opportunity of listening to something a little bit different that might, just might, widen your musical horizons for the better.

At a time when the mainstream seems content to pander to formula, some of the artists here have developed a cult following, and career longevity, that is deserving of wider success.

This could well be the long-player that gets the word out on some of the great overlooked gems of recent musical times.

So start spreading the news...



Track listing:
1. Ween – Freedom Of ’76
2. Marc Ribot – Dame Un Cachito Pa’Huele
3. Ben Kweller – Family Tree
4. Dusty Trails – They May Call Me A Dreamer
5. Paul Westerberg – First Glimmer
6. Wilco – When You Wake Up Feeling Old
7. The Lemonheads – The Outdoor Type
8. Fountains Of Wayne – Troubled Times
9. Jason Falkner – Eloquence
10. Kevin Tihista – Beautiful
11. The Flaming Lips – Bad Days
12. Cibo Matto – Sugar Water
13. Mr. Bungle – Retrovertigo
14. Faith No More – Midnight Cowboy
15. Emmylou Harris – Time In Babylon
16. Lea DeLaria – Black Hole Sun
17. Pat Metheny – Travels

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