Various Artists

Shanti Project Collection, Vol. 2

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This second collection of music benefiting the Shanti Project of San Francisco -- an organization dedicating to improving the lives of people living with AIDS -- collects exclusive tracks from some of the most original and exciting (and female!) voices making music at the beginning of the century. Mimi Parker of Low contributes a lovely, Patsy Cline-esque balled called "When You Walked Out on Me" as well as a more ethereal version of her main band's "The Plan." Paula Frazer of the alt-country band Tarnation also delivers a pair of fine songs as well, one of which features the unmistakable voice of Mark Eitzel. Kristin Hersh and Rebecca Gates, former lead voices of Throwing Muses and Spinanes, respectively, each deliver a pair of tracks. Perhaps most striking is Canadian singer Julie Doiron, whose spare contributions are delicately heartbreaking. More than the sum of its considerable parts, Shanti Project Collection, Vol. 2 gathers a stunning collection of songwriters and their work.

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