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Naim Amor

While there isn't a film accompanying the second installment of Soundtracks, the intent is plain: This atmospheric collection of jazz-inflected anti-arias conjures up numerous cinematic scenarios in the listener's mind--the protagonist goes grocery shopping at the edge of the universe (the kinetic "Breakfast at Datura"); a chase sequence involving golf carts ("Naima," featuring a gloriously agonizing guitar sound); an urgent romantic interlude ("Stuck (Instr.)"), made almost elegiac by the use of theremin.

These are but three possible interpretations of all the action contained by Soundtracks Vol. II. One tends to think of the cinephiliac French when listening to such evocative soundscapes. Try listening to this album without pretending you're some cosmopolitan sophisticate with a complicated history and a terrible Lucky Strike habit. Just try.

Released on Howe Gelb's Ow Om imprint, Soundtracks Vol. II features a wide slew of local talent. Notables include Calexico's John Convertino and Noah Thomas, whose haunting trumpet lends an overall air of mystery to the proceedings. In fact, Soundtracks Vol. II not only features some of Tucson's finest performers; it's dedicated to them.

What Soundtracks Vol. II does best is give the listener space to enjoy it--it neither intrudes upon nor demands your attention, but rather waits for you to appreciate it. And appreciate it ye shall ...

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