Various Artists

Totally Wired, Series 2, Vol. 2

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Here's a compilation album that really delivers the goods. It features an obscure collection of great songs that are entirely different from each other, yet somehow complement each other perfectly. In this case, the overall style of the album is groovy, modern, and very danceable. The songs, which were handpicked by the staff at Acid Jazz as the best of the best, range from full-on soul to light, poppy 2-step. "Dance This Samba Away" is clearly influenced by Latin music, while "Have You Smoked Gauloise" is part Japanese lounge, part Parisian corner café, and part Howlin' Wolf. Among the dozen artists featured are Arnold Blair, Tyrone Davis, and Tito Lopez. Part of this album's appeal is that it has no shortage of strong, dominant vocal lines or traditional song structures, two things that are often not seen in electronic music. Some of the tunes lean perhaps too heavily toward diva house or disco, but they never fall entirely into either niche. Tyrone Davis' track, "Is It Something You've Got?," brings to mind the long-gone glory days of Motown Records. This superior collection has something to delight every kind of music fan, from the too-cool-for-school club kid to the cigar-smoking, overcoat-wearing corporate exec.

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