Various Artists

Epop Version_01: Point of View

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The "E" stands for Europe, and Epic Records' Epop collection contains several major European dance hits, including the lead-off track, DB Boulevard's "Point of View," which also enjoyed dance chart success in the U.S., "Lazy," by X-Press 2 featuring David Byrne; "Freestyler," by Bomfunk MC's; and "Sweet Like Chocolate," by Shanks & Bigfoot. Although every track places heavy emphasis on the beat, the material progresses over the course of the disc from light pop to harder, more basic tracks. Mirwais' "Naïve Song" will sound familiar to anyone who has heard his work on Madonna's Music, with its skittering beats and editing that make you think there's something wrong with your CD player. "Lazy" is one of the best tracks, featuring David Byrne and, naturally, it contains many more lyrics than most of the others. Things start to get harder and more aggressive with Brooklyn Bounce's "Bass, Beats & Melody" and "Freestyler," though I Monster's "Daydream in Blue" is a ballad that provides a respite before the highly synthesized material that takes up the album's last third. By the time of Freq Nasty's "Fresh," the music is nearly instrumental, an assemblage of blips and blaps in relentlessly repeating beats. There isn't much that's new here, but this music can keep the dancefloor full for its entire running time.

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