Recipe For A Road Trip

There's no clear theme or common thread linking the songs on this "alternative" rock compilation. It comprises many ingredients, from various labels, all thrown into a pot. The good news is that the resulting stew is a treat for the ears.

Ten of the 18 bands on "Shine" are signed to labels associated with Universal, the music giant that released this album. It's a shrewd package, combining proven ringers with some newer artists ready for the spotlight.

For instance, tried and true favorites like Sublime's "Santeria" (RealAudio excerpt) and Days of the New's "Touch, Peel, and Stand" (RealAudio excerpt) are mixed artfully with relatively fresh material, such as Tracy Bonham's "Behind Every Good Woman" and Stroke 9's "Washin' and Wonderin'." Other newer artists include "Do Right," a romping boy vs. girl sparring match, from Jimmie's Chicken Shack; the lush and hard-edged "Upside Down," from Pound; and the distortion-heavy, danceable "Loose," from Primer 55. All the songs are catchy as hell and sound best at maximum volume.

"Shine" plays like a road-trip tape made for you by a really cool friend. You'll be screaming "WOO-hoo!" along with Blur on the opening track, the mindlessly loveable "Song 2" (RealAudio excerpt), which carries right into Republica's "Ready to Go." By the fourth track, Leona Naess' "Charm Attack," you'll be looking for your car keys and a flat, open highway, purely for the thrill of cranking this album at 80 mph with the windows down.