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Various Artists: I Am What I Am [Digipak]

Track List

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Album Notes

The Yep Roc label looks back at its first 15 years with the commemorative compilation I Am What I Am. Yep Roc was founded in 1997, during a time when many labels focused on a particular region or style, but Yep Roc diverged from this pattern, instead seeking out rising stars and legacy artists with a looser attitude toward genre. The most consistent element to the label's sound is a love for roots music, reflected here from John Doe & the Sadies' earthy "It Just Dawned on Me" to the modern bluegrass of Chatham County Line's "Wildwood" and the bittersweet alt-country of Chuck Prophet's "You and Me Baby (Holding On)." On the sweeter side, Fountains of Wayne offer their literate power pop revivalism with "Someone's Gonna Break Your Heart," while Sloan shine on the hooky "Who Taught You to Live Like That?" and the Apples in Stereo charm with "Same Old Drag." And going back to legacy artists, tracks from Nick Lowe ("Lately I've Let Things Slide"), Dave Alvin ("Sinful Daughter"), and Robyn Hitchcock ("Adventure Rocket Ship") show these influential figures continuing to challenge themselves with ever-evolving sounds. A worthy companion to their 15th anniversary, I Am What I Am stays true to Yep Roc's roots, showing many sonic sides without sacrificing enthusiasm. ~ Chrysta Cherrie



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