Various Artists

Driveway Moments, Vol. 2

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Hosted by the dulcet-toned Michele Norris, Driveway Moments gathers a group of memorable stories that originally appeared on NPR. Its name comes from the material's inherent compassion, narrative power, humor, or heartwarming grace -- whatever it was that gave listeners pause -- in their driveways, perhaps -- during the pieces' original air. This second volume of the series features 11 segments over two discs. It runs the gamut from the grippingly sad tale of a child dying from a heartless disease, to the alternative, quizzical, and often subterranean universe of the world's insects. "Cows That Type" kicks off the second disc. Featuring the always entertaining, ever-prescient, and slightly eccentric NPR commentator Daniel Pinkwater, the story tingles with National Public Radio's particular flair for offbeat, smart humor; it's a highlight of the album. Other stories making the Driveway Moments cut include "My Struggle With Obesity," told in the first person by its teenaged protagonist; the powerful recollection of a hospital chaplain; and a classic from the late '80s concerning misunderstood song lyrics. Driveway Moments do a nice job of tying the selections to personal associations -- most of the pieces include a listener testimonial. And though it's difficult not to expect the measured delivery of a Washington-based newsreader as the stories move along, Driveway Moments is still an entertaining, informative, and thought-provoking set, a mirror to the network itself.

Track Listing - Disc 1

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
blue highlight denotes track pick