Various Artists

Marie Claire Presents: Belle de Jour

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This tie-in between Marie Claire magazine and Compost Records offers some breezy downtempo, acid jazz and trip-hop that makes a stylish backdrop to, as the album's description puts it, "the best hours of the day." Tracks such as Koop's "Summer Sun," De-Phazz's "You Stayed" and Underwolves' "Stay a While" capture the elegantly mellow feel that will appeal to casual listeners, while other tracks go deeper into the styles that influence this particular kind of electronic music. Latin-inspired rhythms and melodies pop up throughout the album, but figure most prominently on Victor Davies' "Better Place" and Minus 8's "Bossanova Feeling," while the gentle acoustic guitars and vocals on Davies"' "Spirit" take their cue from soft rock (indeed, the song sounds like a more electronic update of Seals & Crofts' "Summer Breeze"). Better than your average cross-promotion, Marie Claire Presents: Belle de Jour is a fine sampler of Compost artists and a decent way to introduce them to a wider audience.

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