Various Artists

Cities 97 Sampler: Live from Studio C, Vol. 21

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Consisting of live recordings from the KTCZ 97.1 studio, this compilation manages to give a fairly good representation of the pop/rock landscape in 2009. Jason Mraz, the Fray, and Adele are the biggest players here, but some of the album’s best moments are performed by its lesser-known artists. Ingrid Michaelson strums her ukulele during a breezy version of “Maybe,” Erin McCarley croons her way through “Pitter Pat,” and Parachute cranks up the collegiate heartthrob dial with “She Is Love.” The recording quality is solid throughout, and most of the bands chose to perform their material with acoustic guitars and sparse arrangements, making this the sort of coffeehouse record that sounds especially appropriate in the morning.

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