Various Artists

Breakfast Club: Milan

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While it would be nearly impossible to find out if every song on Breakfast Club: Milan was actually played in caf├ęs and nightclubs around the city like the label insists, anyone who's ever spent time in the fashion capital of the world knows that at least they're not far off the mark. A collection of music for somewhere between late night and early morning, the songs on Breakfast Club: Milan would all fit comfortably in any Italian lounge, impeccably dressed and sipping martinis while calmly sharing a cigarette. There are a few songs that conjure up particularly vivid images, like Moby's "Summer," the perfect description of sitting outside a coffee shop and drinking a cappuccino, watching Vespas and high leather boots on their daily commute to work, or Peter Daou's "Seventh Space," which uses both a drum machine and keyboard chords for its beats and could easily be played in a discotheque after hours. It's chillout music, with a focus on ambience and instrumentals (there are a few exceptions, Nouvelle Vague's cover of XTC's "Making Plans for Nigel," for example, or the bossa nova-meets-Tom Jones "Rama Lama Lama," by Paul Derrick, more bizarre than anything else), which means that the album can get repetitive and artificial with many of the songs starting to sound the same, their Latin- or Afro-inspired rhythms and smooth jazz key solos all blending into one very relaxed song, but if used simply as background music while you have an aperitivo and put on your Gucci sunglasses, well, Breakfast Club: Milan just might be the perfect record.

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