Various Artists

Frequent Flyer: Departure Lounge

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AllMusic Review by

Kinkysweet comps make up in pure imagination what they lack in memorable tunes or notable talent. Disc one of Departure Lounge features tracks from Late Night Sneaky ("Tell Me Where You Are") and Bud Not Bombs ("Pick Up"), but in reality these are separate aliases for producers Michael Anthony and Todd Christensen. And yet, like most of the Frequent Flyer titles, Departure still tries in earnest to take you on a trip. The collection has a great central theme in its fantasy airport lounge. It's a place where the crowd is always fluid; ideally it's international too, and ready to unwind with a few loosened blouse buttons. Disc one sets the appropriate mood with "Golden Nectar," where a slight hip-hop shuffle guides the breathy notes of a flute. "Inner Soul" has a bossa nova flair, and the typical global fusion of "Sunspot" dates all the way back to Banco de Gaia's 1994 album Maya. Disc two begins with "Stayridge Terrace" from Ian Pooley, one of the bigger names on Departure. It's a breezy track that suggests the Doobie Brothers' "Black Water" interpreted by ambient hip-hop kids. However, the resulting "Fuzzy Green Stop Lights" doesn't capitalize on its evocative title, and that's a recurring problem with this set. There are nice ideas here and there -- sultry keyboard washes, meandering ethnic and hip-hop rhythms, the whisper of a pretty girl; "Desert Wind" is a late highlight -- but musically speaking Departure Lounge only partly delivers on its concept, leaving the rest up to you. Which, in a way, is just like your initial conversation with that pretty flight attendant from Singapore Air.

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