Various Shanti Project Collection

The Shanti Project of San Francisco is dedicated to helping people living with HIV and AIDS, and trains volunteers to provide care and assistance to those in need. This collection of songs has been released to help fund this organisation, and features an interesting mix of bands. Red House Painters start things off with four great songs, each seemingly quieter than the last, which will have you constantly reaching for the volume knob. Low reminds us that their brilliant Secret Name album is no fluke, and continues down the path of wise, sombre pop with the snaky "Turning Over," which quietly slides into two other tracks. Idaho and Hayden seem to be trading secrets, as their two songs each could have come from the same person, which makes it appropriate that they appear on this CD one after the other. Misc finishes off with their own version of misery, with haunting beats and sinister spoken bits. This collection obviously isn't trying to cheer anyone up, but is pretty enjoyable all the same. (Badman)