Previous releases in this series, particularly the cracking Electronic and Rock & Roll collections, have been eclectic, exciting affairs, chock full of both classic artists and welcome new discoveries. Sadly, the same cannot be said for Singer-Songwriter Vol 1, which is disappointingly narrow in scope.
For we are most definitely in introspective acoustic-toting folkie territory here. Dozens of 'em, old & new, and all blurring into one even after several listens. Is that what singer-songwriter means? Don't black artists write and sing songs? Do people only write and sing songs in English? Does the use of technology disqualify you from being a serious artist? So it would seem, judging from the limited selection of tunes on display here. So there's no Kanye West, Bob Marley, Wesley Willis, Jacques Brel, Georges Brassens, Juana Molina or Barbara Morgenstern, but there are dozens of people who think music began with Dylan's debut album and ended when he went electric.
It's not all bad; Nick Cave, Mary Margaret O'Hara, Tom Waits, Mark Eitzel and Elvis Costello's terrifying "I Want You" all do their best to liven things up a bit. But that's the problem - I've heard all the good stuff on here before, and there's nothing NEW here, nothing to send me scouring the internet to hear more, but plenty to have me reaching for the skip button.