Various Artists

Wake up UP UP

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CD Baby ( is a clearing-house for recording artists who want to release their recordings themselves. The Wake up Up Up compilation, sent out for free to people who order discs from the website, presents 12 examples of the kind of independent musicians whose work is available. Given the potential for unfettered creativity that is supposed to be possible outside the purview of major-label gatekeepers, it is somewhat disconcerting to report that these tracks sound a lot like the sort of pop/rock the major labels are pushing at any given moment. Lots of guitar-oriented rock bands with throaty frontmen making like it's 1966 dominate the selections, and as is often the case with various-artists collections of unknowns, the standout tracks are the ones that just don't sound like all the others. In this category fall Cloud Nine Music's rap-rock "Let's Ride" and female folkie Erin McKeown' "Queen of Quiet." But this is not the album to convince you that the A&R people at the major labels are missing anything out there.

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