I'm a big fan of compliation CDs -- I have all those punk goes pop albums and will scour YouTube for a good cover, so I was psyched to check out Take Action Volume 9. The whole CD was put together just for charity as part of the 2010 Take Action Tour. We The Kings, Mayday Parade, A Rocket To The Moon, and There for Tomorrow are a part of the tour and the two-disc CD includes 35 songs, and bands like 3OH!3, Cobra Starship, Taking Back Sunday, and All Time Low join them on the album.
There are two things I really like about this CD. One is that 5% of the retail price will be donated to Driving For Donors, a group started by 14-year-old Patrick Pedraja and his family. When Patrick was 10, he was diganosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia, and at 11, he started the group to get people to sign up for the National Marrow Registry. The other cool thing is that the album isn't filled with hit songs you've already heard on other albums. Eighteen of the 35 tracks are exclusive or previously unreleased, including We The Kings' riveting acoustic cover of Jimmy Eat World's "The Middle."
The acoustic tracks make the mix for me. I love when musicians can strip down their tunes and get to the real essence of the lyrics and melodies. You can really hear the pain in Mayday Parade's "The Silence," and if a song on the mix gets you a bit more down than you'd expect, a tune like Hit The Lights' "Liars And Cheats (Acoustic)" comes along and makes you want to clap your hands -- in the most rockstar way, of course. I was most surprised by There For Tomorrow's "Backbone (Acoustic)" -- it was truly stripped-down and let singer Maika Maile's voice shine through.
3OH!3 and Cobra Starship's start off disc two with remixes of "Don't Trust Me" and "Hot Mess," and they're the kind of versions you want to hear when getting ready to go out on a Friday night. Much of the second disc was hit with the dance stick with tracks like Let's Get It's "Maps" to Lights' "Saviour," which I thought was a Britney Spears song the first time I listened to it. Disc two very quickly moves into the hardcore world with August Burns Red's "Indonesia" but then gets right back to pop punk with All Time Low's "Poision" and The Downtown Fiction's "I Just Wanna Run" - both got me totally pumped up.
Take Action Volume 9 runs the gamut from punk to pop to dance thanks to the acoustic versions and remixes. While I lean towards pop punk over anything else, the compilation has a good mix for everyone -- think the type of CD you could put on when you have friends over and never need to change.
So tell me - what do you think of charity compilation albums?
<3, Emily, J-14 editor
J-14 has five copies to giveaway - enter the contest here!
Photo: Courtesy of Fueled By Ramen