Picnic Basket: A Shelf Life International Pop Compilation

Various Artists

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Picnic Basket: A Shelf Life International Pop Compilation Review

by Matt Fink

Uniting 19 bands from nine countries under the banner of pop, Shelflife has done a tremendous job tying together the various strains of the international pop community. Jangle pop, power pop, new wave, twee pop, synth pop, and Brit-pop are all well represented, with entries coming from everywhere from Peru to Japan. Amazingly, the collective vision of these disparate traditions combines in a very singular expression, with most tracks finding a charming and light-hearted feel with a decidedly sunny disposition. While it's unlikely that any of the featured artists are household names, even in their respective countries, bands like the Skywriters, with their roller rink grooves, and Lysa Gora, with their sophisticated Velvet Underground sound, show more than a little promise. Overall, a set unique in its focus and consistency that lives up to its title by providing a veritable buffet of pop treats.

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