Turin Brakes – Late Night Tales – Various Artists

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Album Review by Mark Bayross

After dance artists like Nightmares On Wax, Groove Armada, Zero 7 and Jamiroquai, it is now the turn of acoustic duo Turin Brakes to compile the next chapter of the LATE NIGHT TALES series, taking the blues as their central theme.

From the shuffling opener of Swedish singer NICOLAI DUNGER’s ‘Last Night I Dreamt Of Mississippi’ and the delta blues of JOHN HAMMOND’s ‘Dreamy Eyed Girl’ to the more modern take on heartbreak provided by SMOG’s ‘Cold Bloodied Old Times’ and SILVER JEWS’ ‘Send In The Clouds’, via JOHN BARRY’s theme to ‘Midnight Cowboy’, it is clear what mood the album is intended to create.

Even more poignant are the less obvious inclusions: TALK TALK’s typically beautiful ‘I Believe In You’ is a real heart-stopper; as is the haunting cover of ELLIOT SMITH’s ‘Speed Trials’ by Brakes keyboardist Dave Palmer. They do occasionally sacrifice flow to eclecticism, however, and while LES BARONS’ funky ‘Lagos Soundsystem’ provides a heady diversion, GRANT GREEN’s hideous acid jazz cacophony ‘A Walk In The Night’ is the thing skip buttons were invented for.

As with all other instalments of the series, the compilers provide an exclusive cover, in this case of the ROLLING STONES’ ‘Moonlight Mile’, and the recording finishes with the fourth and final part of THE WHITE CITY spoken word story.

All in all, an interesting collection, and a suitably different take on the mix album routine to warrant investigation…unless you’re expecting dance beats of course.

4 stars