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Comfort Music, Vol. 1

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Comfort Music makes grandiose claims. Real Music swears up and down that this compilation of fluttery contemporary instrumentals will fuel creativity, enhance decision-making capabilities, and imbue the listener -- the user -- with a bottomless, ever-bubbling font of patience. There's no guarantee of these services, so their validity is debatable, but at least Comfort doesn't slouch in the music department, offering an array of darn nice new age that's comfier than a terrycloth tuxedo. There's even an artist named Gandalf, and who couldn't love a guy who names himself after the nicest wizard in the history of modern literature? Elsewhere, Nicholas Gunn contributes the heartwarming, faintly Latin grooves of "Place in My Heart," while Govi's "Torero" layers flamenco-inspired acoustic guitars over one another. Other standouts include the Vangelis-ish "Little Moritz" from Bernward Koch and Kevin Kern's sweet solo-piano take on the Beatles' "In My Life." Go ahead, hug yourself. Terrycloth feels great, doesn't it?

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