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splendid > reviews > 11/11/2002
Various Artists
Various Artists
Edmonton Artists Collection 2002
SD


Format Reviewed: CD

Soundclip: "Ben Sures's "Where Are You Tonight?""

Buy me now
Out of context, this disc suggests that there is a major depression problem going on in Edmonton. For the most part, this compilation is comprised of sad songs by hurt guys and hurt songs by sad guys.

The best compositions here are the ones that pack a punch and downplay the moping. Ben Sures's "Where Are You Tonight?" is among the best cuts of the set. The song has a universal appeal (longing) and is delivered with just voice, fuzzy electric guitar and forgettably thin bass. The overall effect is intimate, as if Sures had discovered your old gear in the garage and plugged in to play you his new number. With Sures's tune, as with the rest of the album, the watchword is simplicity.

Unless you are hip to the singer-songwriter scene, particularly Edmonton's, you may have a hard time forming an attachment to this record. That's because, though the compositions are pleasantly and simply rendered, they come off somewhat generic, like the white cans marked "beer" in Repo Man. Helping the various artists carry the day, however, is the palpable sense of immediacy and vitality of the recordings; these cats sound like they regularly work the cold Edmonton coffeehouse circuit and have benefited from it.



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