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Various Artists: Sound of London/Jazz Powers Volume 2

While boomers try to reclaim their childhoods, youngsters are turning into their parents. Future Sound of London/Jazz Powers Vol. 2 (Instinct, Ex 338-2, 55:38)-which harkens back to the smooth heyday of Bob James, Stuff and the like-shows just how self-devouring mass culture can be. There are different shades of smooth, however. This collection occasionally avoids the formaldehyde-IV aesthetic, offering up some simmering beats (the Barry White-influenced “French Windows”) and perky arrangements. The obligatory fluff is offset by some mildly interesting solos, which keep things from degenerating into a complete snooze fest.

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