From the start of the piano-laced "Radio" by the Walkmen, it's obvious that listeners are in for a ride when listening to This Is Next Year: A Brooklyn-Based Compilation. That song is followed by "I've Got a Fang," which is new territory for They Might Be Giants. The song is a hard rocker, with John Linnell's vocals noticeably lower than normal. The diversity of sounds coming out of the New York City borough is evident with what comes next: a soft and serene folk song from Folksongs for the Afterlife. From the outrageous bursts of Grand Mal to the relaxed musical companionship of the Mendoza Line, there is a wealth of unique sounds coming out of the thriving Brooklyn indie rock scene. Les Savy Fav offer up the live track "No Sleeves," a rousing song made better by Tim Harrington's understated vocals. Rainer Maria, who transplanted to Brooklyn from Wisconsin, donated "Artificial Light" to the disc. It's another wonderful example of Caithlin de Marrais and Kyle Fischer's feverish vocal interplay. The first disc ends with the lively "Johnny Shot the Mexican" by Rev. Vince Anderson. The second disc begins with former subway musicians the Boggs and their folky "Bound for Brighter Days." The French Kicks offer up the subtly catchy "1985," while Ida's "Hearts Don't Break" features Liz Mitchell's remarkably reflective vocals in harmony with Dan Littleton. Enon's "New York's Alright (If You Like Saxophones)" is a lively and disorienting effort. It's followed by Nada Surf's John Denver-esque "Blizzard of '77," which is gracefully followed by Mascott's seductive and dramatic "Kite." The disc ends with the startling and complex "Brooklyn" by Home. It's a warped and quirky song smattered with gleeful melodies and frantically sung lyrics. Arena Rock Records released the two-disc set in 2001. Proceeds benefited the Brooklyn Animal Resource Coalition, a Brooklyn animal shelter.
AllMusic Review by Stephen Cramer
Track Listing - Disc 1
Track Listing - Disc 2