Compilations 1995-2002

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A companion to Hood's second singles collection that covers the band's appearances on multiple artist releases and splits, Compilations is, as the band describes it in the liner notes, "in no way complete but we feel these are the best of the bunch." Arranged in no particular order, it's a little less immediately overwhelming than Singles Compiled, if only because it's one disc rather than two. The band's sometimes trenchant liner notes song for song give plenty of background detail but all one needs to do is play it, and starting the collection with the sublimely melancholic "For a Moment, Lost," with pianos, quiet guitars, and an air of distant sorrow, couldn't have been a finer choice. The nature of the songs widely varies -- "Vs. Aube" remixes the Japanese noise artist turning the pages of a book, "I Have It in My Heart to Jump into the Ocean" is an elegant and sometimes dank slow shuffle with lovely violin, "Attempts to Revive the Victim Failed" makes for an intentional tweaking on starry-eyed Brit-pop wannabe bands. Elsewhere are genre experiments, the ambient drum'n'bass of "Lo-Band-Width," and tributes -- "Cross the Land" is called "such a near perfect Disco Inferno pastiche that we nearly gave Ian Crause a writing credit," while "Finger in His Ear" openly nods toward Alastair Galbraith. There's even an error correction or two, in that "Ley Lines" originally appeared on a comp release mastered at the wrong speed. If anything, Compilations calls to mind earlier Hood albums like Silent '88, where short and fragmentary songs prevailed, but the audible sound of the later band's contemplative reflection is just as strong, and the balance makes for a compelling listen -- it almost could be one of the best starting points for a newcomer to the group.

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