Various Artists

Rolling Stone Presents: Female Singer-Songwriters

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The companion to Rolling Stone Presents: Male Singer-Songwriters, Rhino's 2001 release Rolling Stone Presents: Female Singer-Songwriters doesn't rely much on its companion, 1996's Listen to the Music: Female Singer-Songwriters, though in comparison, it's hard not to favor that disc, since it's lengthier and more idiosyncratic. Still, as a sampler, this is varied and enjoyable, ranging from such classics of the genre as Laura Nyro's "Wedding Bell Blues," Joan Baez's "Diamonds and Rust," and Janis Ian's "At Seventeen" to such idiosyncratic selections as Kate Bush's "Wuthering Heights." This doesn't mean this is an essential collection -- and it's a little pricey for a mere ten songs -- but it's nicely packaged, nicely annotated, and entertaining, albeit not excessively so. Therefore, it's worthwhile if you're looking for this kind of disc, but it's not really something to seek out, either.

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