Various Artists

Acuarela Songs

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The Spanish label Acuarela issued a double compilation of previously unreleased songs, having asked international bands to write tracks that included the word or the idea of watercolor (which indeed is what Acuarela means) either in the lyrics or in the spirit of the compositions. Thus, the label ended up with a collection of 32 songs, ranging from excellent to average. In an overall listening, Acuerala Songs is a pretty successful LP. If the disc mainly features folk music (with artists such as Giant Sand's Howe Gelb, M. Ward, Tara Jane O'Neil, and the Mountain Goats), the journey does not remain in folk lands: Bands such as England's Dakota Suite invite listeners to the world of cool jazz-rock while others, such as Emak Bakia, trip on muffled electronic music and recall outfits like the Third Eye Foundation. This compilation is both a quiet and soothing thing, meant to be played for the background atmosphere it provides, while also serving to acquaint the listener with good bands that deserve to be discovered.

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