Trampoline is a label owned by Pete Yorn, Rami Jaffee of the Wallflowers, and Marc Dauer. Unsurprisingly the artists on the second Trampoline collection fall into the same stylistic realm as Yorn and the Wallflowers: well-produced, sensitive rock inspired by classic American rock like Tom Petty and Neil Young and modern rock like Counting Crows and the Wallflowers. All the songs are exclusive to the collection, and there isn't an obviously weak one among them. The obscure bands like Buva, Flotilla, and Waz turn in decent tunes. A couple of almost-weres (Chris Stills and Jonny Polonsky) make steps down the comeback trail, Stills' lilting "About a Girl" being a highlight of the disc. A couple of could-bes make their case convincingly, Michael Miller's "Lover I Know" is thoughtfully arranged and the guy has an angelic voice, and Dan Wilson breaks away from Semisonic to get intimately epic on the dramatic "All Kinds." The only ones who turn in songs that are little more than pleasant filler are the label co-owners: Yorn's "I Feel Good Again" is a lo-fi blues stomp written by Junior Kimbrough, and the Wallflowers do a passably ironic cover of Julian Lennon's "Too Late for Goodbyes." The disc holds a couple of pleasant surprises. Liz Phair's "Don't Apologize" scores points by being written and produced by Liz herself and by kicking some serious rock butt, and actress Minnie Driver's "Everything in My Pocket" is a melancholy ballad pitched somewhere between Mazzy Star and Aimee Mann with lush strings and very nice restrained vocals from Driver. Trampoline's owners seem to have pretty good ears and some pretty talented friends. Any fan of Yorn or the Wallflowers will find much to like here. As will anyone who enjoys thoughtful, sensitive, and literate modern rock music.
Trampoline Records Greatest Hits, Vol. 2 Review
by Tim Sendra