Various Artists

The Mood Mosaic, Vol. 4: Les Yper Sound

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After a couple of volumes that pursued specific themes, the Mood Mosaic lounge series returned to a grab-bag approach on its fourth installment. Thankfully, it is a good grab bag. Mood Mosaic, Vol. 4: Les Yper Sound contains everything from bossa nova and jazz to synth-spiked soul and psychedelic pop, but it works nicely because the cuts are all catchy and share a pleasant, easy listening feel despite their differing genres. Highlights in the jazz vein include "Sound Machine," a smooth Oliver Nelson cut whose stately, horn-led melody periodically breaks for some nice electric piano solos, and an elegant, sax-driven version of "The Look of Love" by Stan Getz. In the psychedelic arena, some of the best cuts are Peter Thomas' organ-fuelled instrumental reworking of "Jumpin' Jack Flash," and "Bond Street," an Enoch Light cut that spices up its peppy, easy listening version of this Bacharach instrumental with bleeping synthesizers and some wild stereo-separation effects. There are also plenty of tracks with a bossa beat, the best being Connie Francis' "Bossa Nova Hand Dance," a tune that finds the vocalist slickly crooning in both Spanish and English, and an instrumental version of "Mas Que Nada," by John Scott, that replaces the vocal melody with a combination of slick organ leads and jazzy horns. There's also the occasional fun novelty; the most amusing is Gary McFarland's "Bloop Bleep," which features the vocalist complaining about the sleep-thwarting sound of a dripping faucet while the band grooves along behind him in a Latin jazz style. In short, Mood Mosaic, Vol. 4: Les Yper Sound is an eclectic batch of delights, but they all flow into each other because all the cuts benefit from the tight, pop-flavored arrangements and the slick production that defines the best lounge music. As a result, Mood Mosaic, Vol. 4: Les Yper Sound is a worthwhile spin for anyone who enjoys lounge music in all its diverse forms.

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