Review - Morning Becomes Eclectic: Selected On-Air Performances From the Legendary KCRW Studios

Artist: Various artists

This collection of live performances from KCRW's (89.9 FM in Santa Monica) music show "Morning Becomes Eclectic" might make people wish they always had access to real music-oriented radio. But all envy aside, host Nic Harcourt's choices for this 1998-99 compilation, named after the show, run from the stunning to a few strays. The disc leans toward the former, like the vocal magic of disc-opener "Blewu" by Angelique Kidjo. The CD doesn't slide downhill until later -- for example, Sixpence None the Richer's lackluster version of "Kiss Me."

John Martyn supplies a wonderful, skewed blues take on Portishead's "Glory Box." Buffalo Daughter cuts across the seriousness with the bizarre pop of "Socks, Drugs & Rock 'n' Roll," followed by Beth Orton's raw, haunting "Sugar Boy." The strange country sense behind the folkish storytelling of "Bears" by Lyle Lovett and the deep, hip boom of Morcheeba's "The Sea" round out a generally great sampling of some of the more interesting contemporary musicians.

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