Cool As Ice

A so-so compilation of lounge tunes.

Diving deeper into the rhythm of the esoteric comes "Chillout Lounge: Volume Two", with matter that gets more defined as it features music that is essentially lounge in attitude. This one is sure to have fewer buyers than its progenitor, the tracks riding on music that is viscous and mercurial, thick with theory and unpredictable with a turn of tune.

The album begins fittingly with a number by The Relaxomatic Project, "Everyday There’s Something", a robotic track driven by synthesizers retelling with severe ennui, and moves over to the pastoral poetry of Groove Armada’s "At The River", a lazy, trumpet-broken smasher.

Depeche Mode interjects with a deeply ominous "Freelove" - "No hidden catch, no strings attached" - and Coldplay delivers beautifully with "Trouble", a ballad made blessed by the troubled vocals of Berryman. Leigh Nash from Sixpence None The Richer lends her saccharine sound to Delerium’s "Innocente", then St. Germann hits with the very refined hip-hop-esque "Sure Thing" buoyed by sparse lyrics barely above a slur. Super.

The Verve goes Beatlesque with their "Sonnet", Beth Orton’s weighty voice brings the blues to "Couldn’t Cause Me Harm", while Blur’s "Tender" soars like a choir-cast anthem.

This is music that will either rouse torpor or thought (or both in unequal proportions), and recreate visions of videos that take off the ground with the poetic extraordinaire. Once it grows on you, you can’t shake it off!

This article was first published on 25 Aug 2002.