Various Artists

Little Darla Has a Treat for You, Vol. 9: Spring '98

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Vol. 9 in the Little Darla Has a Treat for Your series charts the label's continuing expansion into dreamy electronica -- two of the first three cuts are drawn from Darla's Bliss Out series, while Color Filter's lovely "Blue," one of the disc's real highlights, might as well be. It's a tribute to Darla's tastes and aesthetics that this material fits comfortably alongside the collection's more earthbound indie-pop selections -- the Push Kings' "Lonely Times" and #Poundsign#'s "Isolation" sparkle, while Class' "Strobe Light" and Bart & Friends' cover of CCR's "Lodi" both straddle the line between pop and electronica with uncommonly sure footing. And as a sampler, the disc brilliantly serves its implicit design as a commercial gateway -- it's tough to imagine anyone discovering Rose Melberg's aching "Golden Gate Bridge" or the Lucksmiths' wistful "Caravanna" without wanting to hear much more from both acts.

blue highlight denotes track pick