Various artists: Almost Summer

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51P4fkoenYLThis album holds together remarkably well, especially when you consider that most of its tracks were recorded for other projects and that its two sides add up to a classic case of vinyl schizophrenia. Besides the pleasant title cut, which three Beach Boys cowrote in the style of their early hits, side one features a respectable but unexceptional cover of the Lovin’ Spoonful’s classic “Summer in the City”; a musical clone of the Beach Boys’ “It’s O.K.”‘ Mike Love’s “Sad, Sad Summer,” which successfully mines the same emotions covered by the vintage “See You in September” and “Sealed with a Kiss”; and two other tunes. On the predominantly instrumental flip, which is highlighted by Charles Lloyd’s bright, expansive “Island Girl,” you’ll find five lively jazz- and R&B-tinged tracks by Fresh, High Inergy and others.

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