Volume 93, Issue 35

Tuesday, November 2, 1999


Ben Harper reveals side as genuine as his music

Public Enemy number one

Is Western ready to Laugh?

Nice deserves namesake

Nice deserves namesake

Various Artists
Everything Is Nice

This handy three CD compilation is released to mark Matador's 10-year anniversary. Designed to highlight some of the label's finest moments as well as introduce some of its lesser known talent, Everything Is Nice is a welcome addition to any self-respecting college rock fan's collection.

Of late, Matador has changed from being a solely American indie-rock outfit to a more varied and international label. While its talent base still carries old standbys such as Pavement and Guided By Voices, an additional range of artists have greatly bolstered the label's appeal. The fruits of this relatively new direction are all featured here – everyone from hip-hop innovators, the Arsonists, to electronic minimalists Pole are given the spotlight.

Despite the frenetic changes of pace, Everything Is Nice flows rather, well, nicely. Underlying almost every track is a certain methodology indicative of the overall Matador ethic.

Whether it's Cornelius' blissed-out "Count Five Or Six," or Boards of Canada's unspeakably perfect "Roygbiv," there's a fundamental sense of purism here. In other words, you can tell just by listening, these artists are doing what they do solely for the love of music.

All in all, this anniversary compilation is so good, it reminds listeners exactly why the label has been around for a decade. Even those who know Matador inside and out will still be rewarded for their patronage – the third CD is comprised strictly of previously unreleased songs. With a combined total of 43 tracks by 31 bands, it's difficult to listen to Everything Is Nice and not find at least a handful of things you like.

–Mark Pytlik

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Copyright The Gazette 1999