11 Songs, 40 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

Extolling the further adventures of the characters from Ann Brashares’ novels, this intimately scaled sequel is essentially the more emotionally grounded, less narcissistic antithesis of the Sex and the City franchise. Its song-score not only echoes those sentiments capably but expands on them, with the Caribbean-tinged single “Rock & Roll” by Eric Hutchinson and Michelle Branch’s previously unreleased original “Together” setting the pace. From there the collection ranges across a myriad of styles than include the contemporary country of James Otto’s “Sunset Man,” modern R&B (Missy Higgins’ sensual “Warm Whispers” and the retro-funk of Craig David’s “Friday Night”) and some bracing doses of modern rock, via Noisettes’ brash “Sister Rosetta (Capture the Spirit)” and Hot Hot Heat’s frantic “5 Times Out of 100.” But the collection saves its most interesting textures for last, with MuteMath’s brooding “You Are Mine” and Aqualung’s “Strange and Beautiful (I’ll Put a Spell On You)” serving as welcome counterpoint to the album's otherwise bright pop veneer.

EDITORS’ NOTES

Extolling the further adventures of the characters from Ann Brashares’ novels, this intimately scaled sequel is essentially the more emotionally grounded, less narcissistic antithesis of the Sex and the City franchise. Its song-score not only echoes those sentiments capably but expands on them, with the Caribbean-tinged single “Rock & Roll” by Eric Hutchinson and Michelle Branch’s previously unreleased original “Together” setting the pace. From there the collection ranges across a myriad of styles than include the contemporary country of James Otto’s “Sunset Man,” modern R&B (Missy Higgins’ sensual “Warm Whispers” and the retro-funk of Craig David’s “Friday Night”) and some bracing doses of modern rock, via Noisettes’ brash “Sister Rosetta (Capture the Spirit)” and Hot Hot Heat’s frantic “5 Times Out of 100.” But the collection saves its most interesting textures for last, with MuteMath’s brooding “You Are Mine” and Aqualung’s “Strange and Beautiful (I’ll Put a Spell On You)” serving as welcome counterpoint to the album's otherwise bright pop veneer.

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