Derby celebrates the 11 years of Siesta's existence. This label has brought some of the most memorable pop to my ears, and this compilation is even better than I may have hoped for.
In fact, Siesta has seemed to be laying low these days. I had feared that the label would cease to exist, or that this comp would be an admission that the best days were in the past, with highlights brought into the present to generate one last bang for the label.
The liner notes (which I really enjoyed reading) mention that "Siesta is synonymous of the nouvelle vague of pop." I'm not sure what nouvelle vague IS, but it sounds good to me. This label first introduced me to The Free Design many years ago, at the same time I began to love contemporary bands like La Buena Vida, which I would never heave heard but for Siesta (and Mind The Gap mail order, run from Amersbek Germany by Jorg Winzer).
Honestly, I like listening to everything on these two discs. The only song I skip past is the first track on CD2, Teenage Trifle. It's not that I don't like this track, but that at one time I loved this song so much that I completely played it out and can't listen to it anymore. If you have never heard it, Teenage Trifle may be your favorite song soon too.
I have friends that tell me they don't like to read a review where the writer states their opinion about the music - they just want the info, from which they will make up their own mind. For me, I have passion about music and could never write about music without giving my feelings.
Before I tell you may favorites I want to tell you that many of the songs not on my favorites list bring out pleasant feelings and memories. Songs I love that I am not listing as favorites include Kites Are Fun, which I have heard so many times, though the lyrics and delivery still send me, and Travels With A Donkey, which I listened to (and loved) many times when I wrote a gullbuy review of Milky. The same goes for the Lorraine Bowen track Julie Cristie. I love this song (especially the line mentioning the film Billy Liar), but i have listened to this one too many times to make it a current fave.
My favorites on the collection:
(on disc 1)
- Paper Mache is a Bacharach/David track that sounds like spun magic.
- Enamorado just struck me as I listened to this disc. I'm not sure if I have ever heard it. I may have it on one of the many Siesta comps I own, but it works so well sequenced right after Paper Mache that it became a fave for Derby.
- Vigil is a band that I have followed and loved you several years. They play instrumental tracks that sound like soundtrack to lush travel films. I love everything they do, and Sunrise Cafe is a gem.
- The Maria Napoleon track Viva la Muerte has the kind of children song feel that Siesta seems to conjure so well in many of its artists. The music is simple, with a piano, handclaps, a percussive device, a recorder, a banjo and a glockenspiel. The French lyric brings it into child song land, and makes the track super.
- The Monkees cover Forget That Girl sounds every bit as good as the original, and even brings something new and wonderful to the track.
(on disc 2)
- Fly is unreal! I don't think I had ever heard this track, but it has everything. Great lyrics, killer melody, hooks galore, and vocal harmonies.
- Fantasia is another Vigil track. Like I said before, i love this band. If you enjoy orchestrated exotica, be it Martin Denny, Arthur Lyman, Combustible Edison or even The Love Boat, you have got to love Vigil. Do yourself a favor and buy both of their CDs.
- The song which follows is 10/10 as well. Ramon Leal has released many records on Siesta under various names (he is also Real Carioca). O Orvalho vem Caindo is smooth as a soft drink, with Brazilian samba rhythms that could have inspired J-Pop artist Mansfield on any of his finer tracks. The male/female vocals in Portuguese are sublime.
I could go through each track, but the best thing I'm going to do is tell you that if you like this label, Derby is a solid purchase that you should consider making.