Various The World According to Popguru

This compilation of new Canadian pop bears the subtitle “a soundtrack in search of a film.” That phrase has entered the realm of rock critic cliché to describe evocative ambient music resembling film scores, but in this instance it has more to do with Baz Luhrmann’s Romeo and Juliet or even a small Canadian gem like Kitchen Party than anything resembling Morricone. The real motive behind this compilation is to showcase a new label headed by producer Graham Stairs, the man behind Intrepid Records (Rheostatics, Meryn Cadell, tributes to Bruce Cockburn and Joni Mitchell), in the early ‘90s. Stairs has an obvious ear for mainstream pop music that slips through the cracks; any one of these bands could stumble upon MOR success with a bit of marketing. In the case of Martha and the Muffins (borrowing Red Autumn Fall’s rhythm section) or Chris Tait (Chalk Circle), they already have in their former lives. Of the newcomers, Leaderhouse and Hennessey show particular promise, while most of the compilation is unobtrusively inoffensive in an ‘80s pop kind of way. (Popguru)