?, 1999


Shanti Project Collection

The delay of Red House Painters’ new album for you down? Shanti Project Collection is here to ease your pain.

No offense to Low, Idaho, Hayden and Misc, but Shanti Project Collection stands out from most compilations for one reason: Red House Painters. Sure, this collection is impressive for its cohesion, its use of multiple songs by each artist and its cause (proceeds benefit a San Francisco-based HIV/AIDS group). But it’s Mark Kozelek & Co.’s four contributions (three previously unreleased) that make Shanti Project Collection one of this year’s most arresting albums.

“Find Me, Ruben Olivares” and “Smokey” (which is a demo version of a song that is on the severely delayed Old Ramon) are both acoustic originals that highlight Kozelek’s rich, sweet voice and his euphoric sense of melody. The other two—covers of Genesis’ “Follow You, Follow Me” and Neil Young’s “Midnight On The Bay” (which was previously released on an obscure SF comp)—show off Kozelek’s ability to make other artists’ songs his own. Other standout performances include Low’s poppy “Venus,” Idaho’s slow-grooving “The Sun Is All There Is” and Hayden’s gorgeously dark “Choking,” but it’s the Red House Painters tracks that will keep your attention focused on this disc for months to come. (Badman, 1388 Haight St. #211, San Francisco CA 94117)


Marc Hawthorne