Various Artists

Nordic Exposure

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It's called Nordic Exposure, and while the artists on this compilation might come form Nordic countries, there's little in their music to offer any Nordic flavor. They're like ABBA -- from Scandinavia, but making global sounds. It's not bad -- Jol's "Cool Cat" purrs nicely -- just largely faceless. "Trying" gets an interesting jazz/jungle groove, although the Bobby Hughes Combination's "Kerma Elastica," a version of Laura Nyro's "Eli's Coming," drains the song of any emotion in favor of an elusive groove that never fully materializes. The ultimate problem is that nothing here strikes deep and makes a lasting impression. Like the froth on a latte, it just vanishes into the air, and you barely remember it was there. As background, it's great, undemanding, and light. And somehow, not especially Nordic.