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Local radio stations have a habit of releasing compilations of music by local bands. They pack the albums with all of the best local bands and wait for both parties to benefit from the release. Radio 1190 has become adept at releasing these compilations and put out their fourth collection of local music, Radio 1190’s “Local Shakedown: Vol. IV,” last week. Expanding onto two discs, the collection puts together the best bands from Denver and Boulder. Despite lofty goals though, the CD falls short of expectations and is too lengthy for its own good.
The album consists of 40 songs and is over two hours and 30 minutes, which doesn’t exactly lend itself to serious listening. The compilation is not for the patient nor the easily frustrated.
With the exception of a few songs, the compilation sticks to what indie music does best: low-fi pop. This, unfortunately, is the undoing of much of the album. Most of the songs in this category are lacking any semblance of build-up or climax, and vocalists are drowned in a sea of reverb. The songs plateau and coast along for three odd minutes before they end without much excitement.
There are a few standout songs on this album that are worth digging through the 150 minutes of mediocre music, though.
“White Wave” by Princess Music is a song reminiscent of The Shins and could be a sequel to their song, “Black Wave.” The song tangles strings and a quietly picked guitar while the tenor of Tyler Ludwick is instantly comparable to the timbre of Belle and Sebastian vocalist Stuart Murdoch.
Another strong song off of “Local Shakedown: Vol. IV” is one that doesn’t fit into the mess that many of the other songs create on this album. “Back to the Basics” by The Foodchain takes rap back to what made it great in the first half of the ‘90s. Acting like crunk never came to be, The Foodchain makes rap once again a battle of skill, rather than about who has the most money to blow at the club.
Musicians known for their consistency were not immune to the overall slow pace of “Local Shakedown.” Patrick Dethlefs is known for his virtuosic songwriting ability despite his young age, but he falls short on “Local Shakedown.” His song “Another Colorado Song” is just another forgettable song on this album, not standing out in any way. The magic and incredible stage presence that Dethlefs possesses in his live shows are nowhere to be found in this recording.
Despite the rare steps that Radio 1190’s “Local Shakedown: Vol. IV” takes into greatness, it is not enough to bring this lengthy compilation into the spotlight. Many of the songs seem to have been picked out of necessity, not because an artist was deserving. Many songs feel like they were added simply because the creators wanted to make the compilation span onto two discs.
Had the two-disc set been more exclusive, the music could have been much better and the album much shorter. Instead, “Local Shakedown: Vol IV” drags on with weak music and fails to let listeners enjoy the truly strong songs on the compilation.
Contact CU Independent Staff Writer Patrick Fort at Patrick.email@example.com.