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THE ALTERNATIVE ALBUM (RED COVER) - VARIOUS ARTISTS - VIRGIN/EMI MUSIC
Record Rating: ***1/2

The Alternative Album (Red Cover) - Various Artists By the early 1990s, American alternative rock bands became mainstream in the US and achieved great popularity in the UK as well thanks to MTV and radio. Grunge bands like Nirvana and Pearl Jam helped inspire the British alternative rock scene. By the middle of the decade, the British charts were dominated by Oasis, Blur, Radiohead and their form of Britrock.

And for a sampling of what’s great during the new British wave of alternative music (circa 1999-2003 for a majority of these tracks), this is a great collection. From Bright Lights by Richard Ashcroft to Lucky Man by his band The Verve - to Getaway by The Music, this is pretty much definitive of that era. A majority of the tracks have been worn out over the radio and the alternative TV shows, but since they're not played as much in 2004, it's good to be able to flash back to those days once again. Disappointed by the lack of better alternative material, the line-up is not to be argued with. The eighteen track listing boasts of some of the really big names on the Brit scene of today – read Doves, Radiohead and even Grammy Awards darlings - Coldplay. The sound of Starsailor’s Tie Up My Hands can only be described as 'neat' whilst the Black Rebel Motor Cycle Club’s contribution is one of their better songs; Red Eyes & Tears. There are some excellent tracks on this compilation but it is a very hit and miss affair. It may appeal to those who enjoy these budget releases (the CD is priced at Rs199 only!), but the not so hardcore alternative track listing may deter others.

Hopefully it will need another another great alternative compilation to get the faith going again in this country – so they’ve rolled on volume two – which is the one with the blue cover and twenty songs. If you’re a big Coldplay, Verve and Radiohead fan - these CDs are for you – for there’s a mixture of all three included. In the 10 years since Kurt Cobain died, the genre has struggled. Still this new community of bands are emerging and finally making it safe to go back into the alternative cesspit.

Read our other reviews:

The Passion Of The Christ - Motion Picture Soundtrack       Treasures (18 Priceless Gems) -Various Artists      Loving You - Various Artists       Aeromith - Honkin' On Bobo






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