Various Artists

Street Soul Anthems

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The folks at Party People Records keep the definition of "street soul anthem" nice and loose for this budget-priced two-fer, whose 28 tracks include everything from Incognito's fine 1992 version of the Stevie Wonder classic "Don't You Worry 'Bout a Thing" to the very modern downtempo soul of Greyboy's brilliant "Genevieve," with stops in both Blackstreet ("No Diggety") and the old acid jazz neighborhood (the Brand New Heavies' "Stay This Way") in between. Not everything is brilliant, but there are no real clunkers here, and some of these tracks are exceptionally fine. Highlights include the James Taylor Quartet's "Love Will Keep Us Together" (no, not that James Taylor, and definitely not that "Love Will Keep Us Together"), Alison Crockett's cool and smooth "When I Think of You," and Beverley Knight's nostalgic "Flavour of the Old School." Also take note of "I'm Going All the Way," by the Sounds of Blackness, which features a nice proto-big beat groove that Fatboy Slim would probably have sampled by now if it were just a little bit phatter and dummer. Very nice.

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