No doubt that you’ve seen the tracklist for this album by now. And, like me, you probably went, “ZOMFG! Look at all those AAA indie artists that I enjoy to listen to!” Then you may have drooled on yourself.
Just a little bit.
This compilation was put together by two of the founding members of The National for the Red Hot Organization. Whether you like The National or not, you should probably feel indebted to go buy one of their albums now, because they’re responsible for giving you David Byrne, Bon Iver, Grizzly Bear, Antony, Iron & Wine, Beirut, Sufjan Stevens, Arcade Fire, The Decemberists, Yo La Tengo plus many more in the same cd case.
The 2-disc ear orgy starts off the first single released, The Dirty Projectors & David Byrne’s “Knotty Pine.” A song that leaves me wanting more….well, more David Byrne that is, which sadly doesn’t happen. Anyway, “Knotty Pine” will be about the most upbeat song you’ll hear for the next 2+ hours.
Two things about that statement:
This is a very very somber compilation. After my initial listen, I wished this would have hit shelves about 3 months ago. This could have been the soundtrack to my winter, hands down. Every song effortlessly flows into the next, creating a wonderfully melodic experience.
The second thing is the fact that it’s 2 discs, equally 2+ hours. Even I, music devotee, found it hard to sit through the entire compilation. What I did find though, is that there is something for everyone’s own personal mix. What I mean by that, is “Dark Was The Night”can be cut up into your own personal mixtape. I personally have the album split up into three playlists, mixing and matching the 2 cds together.
It must be mentioned that some of those songs did not make my playlists, despite the talent behind them. Sufjan’s “You Are The Blood” is a 10 minute song (?) that about 5 minutes in had me eyeing the skip button. And Buck 65’s remix of said song is just slightly more…interesting. And Spoon’s offering, “Well-Alright” feels out of place and unfinished.
Overall, this thing is a beast. A great compilation for a great cause. It has just a few hiccups, but is packed with more surprises. Especially My Brightest Diamond’s version of Nina Simone’s “Feeling Good,” which I mistook for a Portishead B-Side.
Your iTunes will thank you.