Various Artists

Don't Wait Around: New Northern Soul for a New Millennium, Vol. 2

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The second volume in the Don't Wait Around series compiles 21 more brand-new cuts performed by some of the '60s-era American soul singers most revered by the club denizens, DJs, and record collectors who populate Britain's Northern soul scene. The set was compiled by Ian Levine, the legendary Blackpool Mecca DJ-turned-pop producer who, in 2003, released his documentary video The Strange World of Northern Soul, which consists in large part of present-day reminiscences and performances from Northern soul icons and survivors. Don't Wait Around is an extension of the film, with Levine guiding his subjects back into the recording studio -- some of them for the first time in decades. Levine does his best to recapture the sound and spirit of classic soul, while adapting to the performers' latter-day vocal styles, but the end results of projects like this rarely live up to expectations -- entries like J.J. Barnes' "On Top of the World," Johnny Bristol's "Look Into the Eyes of a Fool," and Mable John's "Time Stops" have their charms, but pale in comparison to the artists' classic recordings.