Light Years Ahead: The Best Of – Various Artists

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Album Review by EDF

I just cannot get enough of reviewing independent artists. This is more so with the new London based independent artist label Solarise Records whose main aim is to “showcase, promote and sell the music of original, talented, independent artistes from all genres and countries”. This compilation CD featuring such artists proves that there is a lot of great music out there that just do not get the attention they deserve.

The first couple of tracks featuring BAGGY AND URUSEN are pleasantly listenable tracks showcasing the impressive lyrics more than the musicianship, not that there is anything wrong in that department. In fact the songwriting is in fact impressive. Next up is the English/Welsh pop duet featuring MUNDIJONG/HARRY WILLIAMS who deliver what is best described as a 1970’s rock/blues track. This is followed by the downbeat SUTROBATH, who come over more mournful than angst on the fascinating ‘Divided’.

The next track brought a smile to my face when the Morrissey like vocals kicked in for the UK group AUSTIN STAR. MIST BEETS’ ‘Conan O’Brien’ and CARSON’s ‘Remedy’ are two of the weaker tracks on the compilation. CURFEW describes themselves as a dance, trip-hop outfit but on the strength of ‘Carmica Man’, they have more in common with latter day Siouxsie And The Banshees.

LA VICTIMMA show hints of the late great Kirsty MacColl, while the only dance track on the compilation by LUCA DEL BIANCO is atmospheric and not as predictable as you are led to believe at the start of the track. JAMIE KNIGHT’s ‘The Trouble Caused’ comes across as a yesteryear 1970’s singer/songwriter of angst-ridden relationships. The final track by MEDICINE SUNDAY is rooted in the Folk genre, performing the slow burning ‘Billy’.

Except for a couple of tracks, the overall quality of the songs on this compilation is well above average. It’s just getting to hear about some of these artists that is the hard part. It would seem that whoever at Solarise Records is choosing to represent these artists for their website has a mighty fine ear which has transferred quite successfully onto this collection.

5 stars