Various Artists

Americana: Rock Your Soul, Vol. 2

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The second volume of BBE's Americana: Rock Your Soul series suffers a little from the "been there, done that" syndrome, but ends up delivering nearly the same amount of wonderfully cheesy, undiscovered gems as the first volume. Like that collection, this set lovingly gathers up a dusty batch of songs from the late '70s and early '80s that sound like the results of a smooth mix of soft rock, smooth soul, light AOR, and the kind of disco one might hear on the lido deck of the Love Boat. Made up of names only a thrift store regular might, but probably doesn't, know, the set uncovers some real gems from acts like E.J. Stamp ("I Know All About It"), TR's Hot Ice (the almost punky "Hot Ice"), and the amazingly named Freudian Funk Band (with the even more amazingly named jammer "I'm Ambivalent About You Baby [Yes, Yes, Yes... No, No, No]"). The overall hit-to-miss ratio falls firmly on the hit side, and even the clunkers -- like Steve Eaton's ultra-corny "Without You" and Archie James Cavanaugh's sub-Moonlighting theme ballad "Make Me Believe" -- have enough novelty appeal to make them worth a listen. One spin of the collection may reveal some new tracks to play at your next DJ night, two spins means you are a serious student of cheese. Three spins and who knows what horrors might transpire. Extra points for including another track from Gong Show regular Jaye P. Morgan, the ridiculously sultry "Here Is Where Your Love Belongs," which closes the compilation out on a high note.

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