Various Artists

Mastercuts: Bar Social, Vol. 2

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Appearing scant weeks after the excellent debut in the Mastercuts Bar Social series, Vol. 2 looks the same on the outside -- po-mo cartoon babes lounging on the cover, oddly incredible track listing on the flip -- but can't compete with the brilliance of the original. True, the inclusions are almost uniformly outstanding, blending not only old and new but occasionally both at the same time: Witness 4hero's 2001 cover of Minnie Riperton's 1969 original "Les Fleur." The transitions are the real problem here; they sound like they were an afterthought, and the result isn't a series of train wrecks but some major, major collisions that really grate on the senses. Colliding a pair of classics together -- say, Dillinger's "Cocaine on My Brain" and Mr. Fingers' "Can U Feel It," or ESG's "Moody" and Inner City's "Good Life" -- is a very difficult business. While it worked often on the original Mastercuts Bar Social, this one makes for a much tougher listen.

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