Various Artists

Yellow Pills, Vol. 2: More of the Best of American Pop

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Although there's only a year between the first two volumes of the YELLOW PILLS power pop anthologies, that year makes all the difference. The first edition of the series relied heavily on new material by older power pop artists, giving the proceedings a rather musty air. While there are still plenty of songs here by stars of the '70s--Shoes, 20/20 (twice!), Jim Basnight, and the Rubinoos all make appearances--the majority of songs are good-to-great new tunes by younger artists, including many of those who revitalized the genre in the '90s.

Previously unreleased tracks by Matthew Sweet, The Posies, Parthenon Huxley, Brian Stevens, The Gladhands, Bill Lloyd and Chris Von Sneidern make this a handy introduction to '90s power pop for those unfamiliar with the music. The highlight, however, is the outstanding "Carnival of Souls" by the Wondermints, an evocative, enchanting psych-lounge-pop gem that's among this underrated band's best work.

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