Various Artists

All Songs Considered, Vol. 4

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Conservatives will be outraged by National Public Radio's fourth volume in its blisteringly liberal All Songs Considered series. From the opening beats of Senegalese dance band Orchestre Baobab's "Utras Horas," it's obvious that the compilers are merely laying the foundation for their battle against cohesion. Patty Larkin is brought in to quell the impending riot with the mournful 9/11 inspired "All That Innocence," leaving Damien Rice naked before the wolves, armed only with a guitar and a beautiful string section on the lovely "Delicate." The assault begins anew with the voice of Democratic President Franklin Roosevelt announcing the opening of the of the World's Fair on Piñataland's ridiculously fun "1939." Grandaddy appears out of nowhere with the anthemic "Now It's On" clearing the way for Itzhak Perlman and Oscar Peterson's deviant version of "Stormy Weather," leaving the right wing to be tended to by missionaries of rock, the Polyphonic Spree. The finale is questionable, as Montserrat Figueras' medieval lullaby remains neutral, a sonic Switzerland between political adversaries bent on destroying the world one song at a time. Delectable.

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