Various Artists

'99 Star Lounge Collection

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The '99 Star Lounge Collection is the second in an on-going series of live performances recorded at the Los Angeles radio station Star 98.7. The original sale of these CDs benefited the Starlight Children's Foundation, Victory over Violence, and VH1's Save the Music foundation. The bands and songs featured here are album alternative or adult pop/rock acts, like much of the programming on MTV's sister network. The performances here are largely acoustic, and thus pretty different from the originals. "Lullaby" by Shawn Mullins, "Possession" by Sarah McLachlan, "Anything But Down" by Sheryl Crow, and "Kiss Me" by Sixpence None the Richer are especially good. (FYI: Crow's version was actually recorded on KFOG in the Bay Area.) The liner notes contain comments about the performer's visit to the Lounge. Funny highlights include trivia -- like that the bar on Fairfax in the Mullins song is called Gengis Cohen. Unfortunately, the '99 Star Lounge Collection, like the one before it, is out of print and available only though used CD stores or internet auction sites where the cost is through the roof, exceeding the true value of the music here. Overall, '99 Star Lounge Collection is a great snap-shot of the best music played on the area's leading non-rap-rock station. The only negative is most fans who buy the CD for a track by their favorite artist (ie. Tori Amos, etc.) will be left wanting more. But that is incentive to move to L.A. and record the radio's sessions.

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