Various Shanti Project Collection 2

Seven women provide live and rare tracks to benefit San Francisco AIDS assistance project Shanti on this second collection in the series. (The first featured Hayden, Idaho, Red House Painters, Low and more.) Mimi Parker comes alone this time, turning a couple of Low tracks into bluesy slow burners. Rebecca Gates gets some help for her studio tracks from boardsman John McEntire; the Tortoise percussionist also sits in on synthesiser, while Edith Frost is simply angelic on her two tracks. Julie Doiron (transplanted to Montreal) gets three excellent tracks, and her simple guitar and enchanting voice is a highlight, while former Hole bassist Melissa Auf Der Maur (transplanted from Montreal) is one of the weakest moments, cluttering her own song and Roxy Music's "Love Is the Drug" with too much instrumentation. Tarnation singer Paula Frazer is joined by American Music Club's Mark Eitzel for a particularly lovely duet. There are a couple of weak spots, of course, but this is a generally solid collection, and if one contributor grates, there's minimal wait before someone else jumps in. (Badman)