Various Artists

Beach Party [Ripete]

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Beach Party is an album that doesn't need to exist. The Beach in the title refers to Beach music, a laid-back warm brand of '60s soul music that is especially popular on the beaches of the East Coast. It has never really died out and the bands on this collection are modern-day practitioners of the form. The problem with the disc is that every artist on it is a second-rate imitation of the original artists like the Chairmen of the Board, Brenton Wood, or the Tymes. Some of the bands go for a bluesier sound and make a real hash of that, too. The record's sound is ultra-processed and smooth, the singers are bar band rough, and the songs are simple and forgettable. Anyone who really wants a good Beach collection needs to go to the original source and pass these faded copycats by. This disc is about as much fun to listen to as the bars where these bands torture the unlucky patrons, and as much fun as the wait staff have cleaning up after them the morning after.

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