Various Artists

Saddle Creek 50

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Omaha, NE, label Saddle Creek was one of the most important indie labels around in the year 2003, with their bands topping indie and college charts and glowing profiles showing up in places like the New York Times. A lineup sporting bands like Bright Eyes, Cursive, Rilo Kiley, Desaparecidos, and the Faint is nothing to sneeze at, for certain. The diversity of the label is a strong selling point. From the confessional and freewheeling chamber pop of Bright Eyes to the dark, new wave-influenced balladry of the Good Life to the paint-peeling emotional roar of Cursive to the quirky and spooky Azure Ray and the socially conscious and heart-sick desperation of Desaparecidos, Saddle Creek does not really have a set sound. What they have is an ear for high-quality music. They celebrate their 50th release with a double-disc compilation. Each of the 11 bands present is represented by two songs: one from a previous Saddle Creek release and one unreleased song. This look back at the past and a glimpse at the possible future is a great way to experience what Saddle Creek is all about. Saddle Creek is one of the few labels with a vision that stretches beyond limousines and the Billboard charts. If you consider yourself an indie rock fan and don't know the label, you need to investigate -- now. If you are a fan already, by all means get this disc and help them celebrate their achievement.

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