<<<<NOTE: THERE IS NO FREE STREAM OF THIS ALBUM. IT’S A FUNDRAISER, SO THEY WANT PEOPLE TO ACTUALLY PAY MONEY FOR MUSIC, LIKE THE GOOD OLD DAYS>>>>
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“Youth on Record: Vol. 3”
By Steve Graham
This album opens with its own mission statement. A jumble of voices and samples over a trip-hop beat gives way to a lone voice explaining his work with at-risk youth. “We foster behavior that directly benefits the community in which they live.”
To highlight the range of the Youth on Record (YOR) program, and to get you moving, this voiceover leads into a groovy cumbia track called “La Verdad” (for gringos, that’s “The Truth” in Spanish) by Making Movies.
Last year, the Kansas City band went to the YOR studio in Denver’s ethnically and economically diverse La Alma neighborhood to lead a songwriting workshop. Students then recorded a session and chanted “La Verdad” throughout the track.
It’s a perfect distillation of the objective of this record, and the two prior volumes. YOR invites musicians to record and perform in a state-of-the-art studio and performance space. At-risk teens learn every aspect of the recording process, instilling valuable skills and confidence.
The students in YOR are more likely than their peers to graduate from high school and enter college or technical training programs. They also record interesting music, which is highlighted in three volumes of compilations.
Like most compilation albums, there’s something for everyone, but most listeners will want to skip a track or two. If cumbia is not your thing, California’s Magic Giant offers some singalong indie folk, Tebe Zalango raps over dramatic violins, and the Wooks pick their way through a bluegrass Steve Earle cover.
The album also shines a spotlight on some local talent, including indie rockers Viretta and pop crooner Brent Cowles, and brings in Ozomatli for a funky 10-minute closer, “Youth Jam.”
Hopefully, you’ll make some new discoveries while supporting a unique and valuable cause.