Various Artists

In Our Lifetime, Vol. 1

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As the inaugural installment in Fenway Recordings' In Our Lifetime series, this sufficiently diverse collection offers up requisite dips into power pop, folk, hip-hop, world, and electronic music with almost universally satisfying results. Working within a stated mandate to highlight the best independent music from around the world, Fenway assembled this collection by commissioning and collecting a fair number of songs from artists outside their own still-burgeoning roster. With solid contributions from more established names such as Irish power poppers Ash and Texan wunderkind Ben Kweller nicely offsetting some of the record's more pedestrian fare, Fenway appears to have chosen wisely. Even in spite of some Crystal Method-aping idiocy from Los Tormentos and a plodding dirge from Alice in Chains retreads Ten Ways From Sunday, there is much to be uncovered here, including relative unknown Micah Green, whose delightfully winsome "Family Circus" amounts to nothing short of a folk-pop revelation. With advance word that volumes two and three of this series are already well into the planning stages, In Our Lifetime, Vol. 1 marks an auspicious and promising start.

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