License To Chill

Capital sound and a prime sampling of tracks make this one to keep.

Stark in its stellar habit, sanctity broken only by a curious guitar, "Chillout Rock" follows in the vein of theseries with its capital quality of sound, and a prime sampling of songs.

The album is individual in its choice of rock, taking only the kind made distinctive by Britons like Blur, Coldplay and Radiohead, and alternative samples from Depeche Mode and Prefab Sprout. They're not all cast-iron, but for the most part, they fit the mould.

Coldplay opens with a slumberous "Shiver", another one of their decelerated deliveries. After that comes "Fever" by Starsailor, while Blur ("Beetlebum") and Oasis ("Don't Look Back In Anger") carry on in succession, punctuating nasal, yet engaging, vocals with domineering guitar play. Bob Dylan gets back in business with his gravelly "Things Have Changed" and American band Luce has lead Tom Luce go a long way up with his "Long Way Down".

By this time, David Usher's squeaky clean vocals do little to redeem a chorus that gets increasingly grating with its monotonic chants in "A Day In The Life", and Prefab Sprout should simply set up shop in another, less popular CD, with their "Cowboy Dreams" having come right out of some ill-made Dixie Chicks' album. I liked Relish's "Rainbow Zephyr", a metaphoric, Gospel-inspired, chorus-driven track, but Lenny Kravitz truly soars with his "It Ain't Over Till It's Over".

This article was first published on 20 Feb 2003.