X – Arts and Crafts

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X is a collection of original collaborative recordings by artist pairings from the Arts & Crafts roster to commemorate the label’s tenth anniversary. I don’t love this album—these nine very different songs from various artists lack the flow of a carefully crafted album or even a mixed tape. Certain tunes are atmospheric and don’t quite stand out. Dan Mangan and Amy Millan’s “Chances Are,” with its phonograph sound, seems headed in the right direction but doesn’t quite get there. And maybe I just like the original too much, because the same goes for Apostle of Hustle and Zeus’s cover of New Order’s “Bizarre Love Triangle.” The Hidden Cameras and Snowblink’s “The Chauffeur” keeps an ‘80s vibe with better results. Talented vocalists Amy Millan, Feist, Hayden, and Jason Collett can do no wrong and their respective offerings don’t disappoint. My favourites include “Lady Bird” by Gold & Youth and Trust, and “Lonely Is As Lonely Does” by Hayden and Jason Collett.

Rating: ★★★☆☆

– Nancy Saunders