Various Artists

Colonel Jeffery Pumpernickel: A Concept Album

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Colonel Jeffrey Pumpernickel, the indie rock opera by Portland, Oregon's Chris Slusarenko, probably won't gain recognition for its storyline, but rather for the big-name talents that have created songs specifically for the project. "I always thought it would be interesting to listen to an album where different bands tell parts of a larger story, a concept album, in reverse," says Slusarenko, who is perhaps better known for his own musical endeavors, Svelt and Sprinkler. The resulting album is, indeed, interesting, if not the easiest plot to follow. Even so, from the anthem-like bookends contributed by Guided by Voices to impressive tracks by Quasi and Mary Timony, Pumpernickel has more talent than most projects comprised of various artists. It makes sense, then, that there are more successful tracks here than on most other compilations. Other highlights include songs by Grandaddy, Stephen Malkmus, the Minders, and the Black Heart Procession.

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