Various Artists - Take Action! Volume 8
Record Label: Sub City Records
Release Date: February 17th, 2009
Hopeless Records, in coordination with the non-profit organization Sub City, has been releasing benefit compilations for years. These compilations span all genres of music and all the latest fads. The organization also sponsors tours with the bands that are featured on the compilations. A percentage of the funds raised from the sale of the compilation and the tour are donated to various charitable organizations (they have raised over $1.5 million over the years). The Take Action! website states that they aim "to inspire young people to make a positive impact through causes they are passionate about." This year proceeds will be donated to DoSomething.org.
This year's compilation, Take Action! Volume 8, contains 20 tracks and includes a DVD of the respective bands. The tracklist is impressive, but the end result is a bit disappointing.
The now defunct Cute is What We Aim For begins the disc with a Public Service Announcement followed by their song "Doctor". The best part of this song (and probably the whole album) is the transition from this song's end to the beginning of the next song. I've always been a sucker for a great transition (especially on mix cds) so this one surprised me and swept me off my feet. Motion City Soundtrack's "Fell in Love Without You" fit perfectly after the previous song.
Emery and There For Tomorrow follow with rather mediocre songs and then The Spill Canvas breaks the album's continuity with a live track. As annoying as that is, it's still a good song and it fits the mood the previous songs set. The next standout track is VersaEmerge's "In Pursuing Time." Since it has female vocals it's an obvious sore thumb, but it's a good sore thumb and fits in with Meg and Dia's track which follows after Versa.
Ace Enders comes in to fill the pop mind and succeeds with "Reaction". This song is amazingly catchy. Unfortunately the next few songs fall flat as they just don't seem to fit. Four Year Strong does their best acoustically with a Purevolume session and All Time Low close the album with "Remembering Sunday".
I find most compilation records to seem really forced and exhibit little-to-no effort. This one is no different. Although at some points the songs flow (tracks 2-3 and 9-11) the rest of the album just feels more cluttered than organized so it outweighs the good parts. It's unfortunate that you feel inclined to skip the songs because it sounds like shuffle gone bad.