First distributed in 2014, Bongo Boy Records has just released the 20th edition of their self-titled compilation album series. Volume XX is full of quality performances from a host of supremely talented artists that we’ve come to know and love from the Bongo Boy team’s excellent curation skills. In this latest edition, we’re treated to a variety of names familiar to us from past releases, alongside a host of new and instantly memorable artists on this pop/rock/electronic-focused musical collection.
Volume XX opens with an artist we remember well – Les Fradkin first came onto our radar in early 2021. On this album, we’re treated to the spacey, futuristic sounds of Escape From Earth. This instrumental piece is a cinematic adventure in 4 minutes, full of energetic peaks and suspenseful valleys that tell a complex and vibrant story. This is followed by Hollywood by OLYA K, a pop number we were first introduced to last summer in an episode of the Bongo Boy TV Series. This is a modern and vibrant single, with a bright streak of optimism amidst the catchy synth melodies.
Kate Magdalena is another familiar name, and her rich and saccharine tone is instantly recognizable. Her single In September is a soft pop ballad brimming with intense emotion and melancholy feeling. Robert Petitti, however, is new to us at The Ark, introducing us to his light classic rock sound with It’s Only Me. Petitti makes great use of vocal effects and harmonies as well as memorable guitar riffs throughout this easy-to-listen-to track that serves as a great introduction to his style.
We find another new inclusion with AJ Scaff‘s Bite Your Tongue. Full of unbridled energy and a driving rhythm, there seem to be hints of pop punk in the rhythmic execution of this track, but it has a foundation in clean and bright modern rock without a doubt. Following soon after is Secret Hideaway from artist Studeo. Always bringing a warm and sunny sound to each album they find their way on, Studeo’s strong female vocals and beachy tones are a rich and welcome inclusion to this project.
AED Projek verges into hip-hop territory on Let’s Begin. It rounds out the overall sound of this collection of songs with throwback sample elements that are simultaneously extremely modern in execution, creating a textured listening experience that is unpredictable in the best way. Closing out this compilation is another familiar favorite artist – Grit’s Guitar. A stand-out on this project, My Heart’s Desire is a bluesy, soulful, guitar-led number that fully showcases the musical capabilities of the lead guitarist, but additionally the backing band as well, filling the space around the emotive solos with both restraint and feel.
Even after twenty editions, the team at Bongo Boy Records has no trouble finding top-rate artists and music to include on every compilation. Volume XX is no exception to the quality, musicianship, and songwriting that they’ve become renowned for on each album. From modern moments to retro interludes, fans of every genre will find new artists to love on any given Bongo Boy Records project, but fans of familiar and digestible pop & rock sounds will feel especially at home on this five-star album.
BELOW: Listen to Volume XX and connect with Bongo Boy Record’s website and social media platforms. Please support Bongo Boy Records by visiting them online, and playing, downloading, and/or purchasing their music! And, as always, thank you for supporting real music!