I tend to buy, and judge, compilation albums on what I can learn from them. If there are a few bands I've heard of, and the rest is new I'll see potential for introductions to new things. I bought this album as a guilty pleasure, not expecting too much.
It's provided ample opportunity to wander through previously uncharted territory, not just stopping at those on the album but similar bands. It is clear that the people who put this compilation together know exactly what they are doing.
The compilation works as a whole, having something that caters for most emotions but not feeling disjointed. With each listen, I notice different songs depending on my mood. Joseph Arthur and Alexi Murdoch, in particular, offered some excellent songs. I have bought a few albums of the artists on the compilation, and discovered more artists through those albums, like Eastmountainsouth (Peter Adams plays on Alexi Murdoch's EP).
What began as a guilty pleasure has opened up a range of music, some of which hasn't had much (if any) UK release. Perhaps they are better known in America but a lot had the feel of undiscovered gems (Murdoch's was a debut). The Australians, Jet, may have been new to many, and Joseph Arthur, on the British Realworld label at the time, too. The more known bands, such as Finley Quaye and William Orbit, or Eels had lesser known tracks, so the whole thing was an accessible, uplifting and very interesting experience.
I think many people wouldn't have expected such a mainstream TV show to unearth so much interesting music and provoke interest beyond the bands on the compliation but they clearly know they're onto a good thing, since another three have been released. I hope this isn't overkill but so far very good. A great introduction to new music for me, and the ride is still going.