Various Artists

Chillout 2002: The Ultimate Chillout

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Chillout 2002: The Ultimate Chillout is one of the many post-2000 CDs designed for winding down, electronica style. Unfortunately, the album takes the same route as so many compilations do and places all of the strongest, big-name material in the first half so the second half can't help but sound underwhelming. Dido, Coldplay, Radiohead, Sarah McLachlan, and Massive Attack have a distinct commercial and artistic advantage over groups like Mandalay and Zero 7, and some of their strongest material is offered to make that point even more evident. The CD is effective at first, but the buildup does not pay off and the disc loses its drive toward the end. No one artist here is undeserving to be on this album, but the mainstream material should have been sprinkled about, not herded into the front.

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