By Various Artists
The beauty about underground albums like 'Elevate' is that they can really surprise you. There are no preconceptions about the artists. There is no anticipation or dread. You're not bored of hearing about the artists because they fill the front pages of the tabloids or have an over-played tedious back catalogue. Their attitude and music is fresh.
So, is this album full of gems like the title suggests? The answer is simply yes. There is so much variety on the album where pop and indie meet folk, jazz, rock and psychedelic.
The two tracks that open and close the album are a lot of fun because of their samples. 'Hello' by The Idea is full of different greetings and 'Elevate' by Emporium is based around the old children's TV theme 'Camberwick Green'.
In between is a fantastic collection from the archives of Whimsical Records.
'The Girl With The Crooked Smile' by Sunshine Variety Club is a typical indie song that's very catchy with a great melody. The great pop tracks on the album are 'In Pieces' and 'She's Got It All'.
Day 44 have a catchy old-school psychedelic track in 'Harold's Bad Trip'. 'Daddy's Little Princess' continues the 60's themed tunes, but the best is 'Dice Man' by Emporium that has a dreamy Brian Wilson feel to it.
The surprises and variety continue on the album with New York based band The Westport Sunrise Sessions and their song 'The Prize'. Heavily influenced by Frank Zappa the song is full of different sounds and rhythms that make you pay attention.
'After The Rain' takes a couple of listens for one to really appreciate because of its bizarre folk feel. The recording sounds low budget but it adds to the mood. It's a song that would have been lost on a slick digital production, great stuff.
What also adds to the quality of this collection is the change of moods. Joe Viglione's 80's track 'There's Nothing Like A Hit' is really dark. It's a tragic tale of his buddy and heroin addict Jimmy Miller searching the streets for a hit. While 'Laughing, Smiling, Joking' is a very peculiar song and at the other end of the spectrum. The first thing that sprung to mind was "what the f..k!" But it is good fun and fits into this collection very nicely.
The track list shows that there has been some thought put into it and all the tracks complement each other so well. So the best thing to do is invest in a copy of 'Elevate' and enjoy.