Various Artists

Facing the Wrong Way

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A promotional compilation issued free to U.K. consumers upon the purchase of another 4AD label release, Facing the Wrong Way charts a new chapter in the label's history -- only a few longtime acts remain (e.g., Throwing Muses' "Snakeface" and the Wolfgang Press' "Christianity"), and 4AD enters arguably the most eclectic stage of its existence, with a roster heavily emphasizing American artists spanning from indie rock (Air Miami's "Dolphin Expressway") to pastoral neo-psychedelia (Kendra Smith's "Valley of the Morning Sun") to gothic country (Tarnation's "The Well"). It's not the otherworldly fantasias of the Cocteau Twins or the noir dreamscapes of This Mortal Coil, of course, but the music here is no less beautiful or affecting -- Red House Painters' "Summer Dress" is particularly luminous.

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