If you are looking for a collection of fresh, contemporary romantic music to give your sweetheart on Valentine's Day, consider purchasing "Win a Date with Tad Hamilton," the soundtrack CD from the movie of the same name.
But skip the movie. Instead, take time to listen to slightly trendy, mellow selections on this compilation album. The songs are written and performed by a talented group of up and coming young artists, some of whom have already developed a faithful following.
While the majority of the young performers on this album were unfamiliar to me, I plan to seek out more music by this eclectic mix of singers and songwriters.
all music fans will find something on this album to enjoy. I recommend a listen to "Why Can't I?" by the exquisite Chicago singer Liz Phair, or "Back to You" by the silky, smooth voice of maverick John Mayer. Both Mayer and Phair have been around the music scene since the mid-1990s, however this is the first time I've really paid attention to their individual styles. I plan to pick-up a couple of Mayer's and Phair's albums for my own music library.
There are several new artists on the album whom I hope to hear more about in the future. One being Kristian Leontiou of Canada. His break-up song entitled "Shining" reveals a maturity most people never achieve when dealing with the heartbreak of unrequited love.
I also loved "Somebody," a song by Bonnie McKee, who has classical vocal training, but who comes off sounding a little like a less husky Janis Joplin.
Alice Peacock's voice on "Leading with My Heart" sounds a little like Sheryl Crow, but she is not a weak imitation of the rock diva. Peacock and McKee have their own sounds and are both artists from whom more will be heard.
Also on the album is The Thorns with "Blue", Bleu and his anthem "I Won't Go Hollywood," and "Some Days" by Wheat, (DSN review-Nov. 2003) and Frankie Jordan's "Once Again."
But if I was to select just one song to listen to over and over it would be "Waiting," by Kyle Riabko. This song has a rich, folksy, coffeehouse sound, complete with excellent acoustic guitar. Riabko's voice reminds me of a male version of Tracy Chaplin.
While I didn't particularly care for the remix of "Superfabulous" by BT or "More Bounce in California" by Soul Kid #1, both songs serve to liven up the "Date" album.
Other artists on the album include Wilshire, Five for Fighting and Jason Wade, all with worthy contributions.
If I were giving out stars, this album would earn a 3-star rating - well worth the CD's $13 price tag.
. Julia Hart can be contacted at
(509) 837-4500, or you can e-mail her at firstname.lastname@example.org