Various Artists

Secret Love, Vol. 5

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Nearly any beat-driven group of the '90s and 2000s could assemble a compilation that looked far afield from electronica; they'd simply rely on the canon of great music stretching back to the '50s and beyond. What makes Jazzanova special is their ability to explore a theme far from the usual without resorting to the tried and true -- and still create an excellent collection. Secret Love, Vol. 5 resides at the intersection of modern folk music, singer/songwriter, indie rock, and the most relaxed end of jazz-house, but combines a host of disparate artists: modern melancholic popsters Pop Levi and Brent Cash; groove producers Recloose and Quiet Village; and those who do a little of both, such as Savath & Savalas and Clutchy Hopkins. The introspective side of romance is the theme, as on past volumes, but you don't have to be in a certain mood to enjoy the relaxed atmosphere, uniformly excellent productions, and surprising highlights from lesser-known artists like Choir of Young Believers, Boom Clap Bachelors, and Nikolaj Grandjean.

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