Alcopop - Alcopopular 4 - Albums - Reviews - Soundblab

Alcopop - Alcopopular 4

by Dan Clay Rating:8 Release Date:2010-06-07

When it comes to choosing your poison of choice, Alcopop Records have taken the idea one step further with their latest compilation release and given the listener the opportunity to peruse, select and enjoy tracks from their specially selected menu, or dine out on the whole lot on a double CD - but is it merely a fast-food gimmick or worth a Michelin star?

Certainly it's a great way of introducing the listener to talented new acts (Freelance Whales, Xcerts) while enticing them with new tracks from more established ones (Liam Frost, Ute) and while it's no doubt fun for the discerning pop-picker to choose 14 tracks from the 26 on offer to create their own personalised CD, it's likely you'll be wanting the all-you-can-eat buffet so as not to miss out on a full sensory explosion.

Of the 26 on offer, Frost's contribution, 'Skylark Avenue' stands out; a terrific vocal soaring over a simple electric guitar. Mixing it with Jose Vander's poppy effort, 'These Times' and My First Tooth's 'June July' which shares a good comparison with Radiohead in echoing Thom Yorke's haunting vocals, Alcopop have set the bar in compilation mixes offering something truly unique and fresh for the listener.

However it's Freelance Whales' 'Generator Second Floor' which really impresses. Sounding like a more commercial Woodpigeon cover band, and utilising any instrument that comes to hand, theirs is the summer pop song for the taking. A simple plucked backing builds into a wall of sound with a truly melodic vocal. Kevin Devine's 'All of Everything, Erased' shows a mature songwriting voice with a sound similar to Elliott Smith while Screaming Maldini provide a rousing Maximo Park style song, full of frenetic punk guitar and punchy vocals and Ute's 'Brother' blends well as a more sedate and pleasant antidote to the album's spiky mix.

Perhaps too much choice might be a bad thing, meaning the only option is to plump up the cash for all the tracks but it's hardly breaking the bank at a few quid. It'll be interesting to see where Alcopop takes the compilation idea for number five, but with NME already calling this "The coolest compilation ever," it seems it's going to have to be pretty good to take the biscuit again.

To order your CD for only £5 (or £7 for all 26 tracks) visit http://alcopop.wordpress.com/shop/and take your pick!

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