Various - Late Night Moods

Late Night Moods is designed to appeal to the elegant, coffee-table female who is happy to watch the sunset from her beach-hut whilst sipping a Martini. It says a lot that this two-disc compilation opens up with Norah Jones' Sunrise, followed by the memorably downbeat Ain't No Sunshine by Bill Withers. This is a compilation suited to seeing in the night of a day that hasn't been as tranquil as one would hope. It evokes a sense of lonely isolation albeit through a comfortable setting.

Thankfully, the compilation tracklisting hasn't been selected on autopilot. Yes, tired old cuts such as
Don't Let The Sun Catch You Crying, California Dreamin' and Time After Time are included, but not by the artists you would usually associate these songs with. Taken further, you wouldn't have blamed Virgin for slotting the wonderfully-sunny cover of Light My Fire by Jose Feliciano, but full marks for them disregarding it in favour of a duet Feliciano performed with the late Minnie Ripperton on the same song. It's as if Late Night Moods is trying to be different whilst charting familiar ground with its listeners.

Yes, Lover Man (Where Can You Be) is included, but not with Billie Holiday singing it but Diana Ross, singing it from the Lady Sings The Blues film in which Ross herself was portraying Holiday. The deep tones of Lou Rawls add sweet soul charm to The Girl From Ipenema. This, coupled with the fact that recent ambiant selections from Air's Talkie Walkie or from Ilya, Jamie Cullum and Katie Melua. For its target market, Late Night Moods is purposefully spreading its bets to appeal to as wider base as possible. On the whole it works, one side of the music buying public will find the songs that are on offer to be far too bland, whereas the other side will wear it out in their stereo.



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