Vol. 8-Take Action!There’s hardly a better endoresement of a compilation album than the following, taken from the back of Take Action! Volume 8: “Take Action was founded in 1999 by Hopeless Records in connection with their non-profit organization Sub City to encourage young people to make a positive impact in the world.  A portion of the proceeds (equalling 5% of the suggested retail price) earned by Sub City from the sale of this release will be donated to DoSomething.org, a national not-for profit that beliees that young people have the power to make a difference. They inspire, empower and celebrate a generation of doers: young people who recognize the need to do something, believe in their ability to get it done, and then take action.” The final video on this cd/dvd compilation sends an equally stirring message, profiling two of the recipients of $10,000 grants from DoSomething.org and their accomplishments. Some compilations come out for a few years and die off, but after 8 years strong, it’s clear that the Take Action! compilation is here to stay, and at the price it’s a steal for the amount of music included.

The cd part of the compilation features 20 tracks (an introductory PSA by Cute is What We Aim For) and 19 musical tracks showcasing varying independent displays (ranging from the electronic sound of Breathe Carolina on their impressively danceable “Diamonds” to the live, guitar-driven, harmonized “So Hot, And You Sweat On It” supplied by Four Year Strong). It’s an album of very different music, with the only apparent throughline being that most of these bands are on the edge of breaking into something bigger. Highlights here are Meg & Dia’s previously unreleased “Halloween” and Anarbor’s poppy”The Brightest Green” off their upcoming release Free Your Mind. While not every track here is genuinely memorable, as a collection, the members of this group are pretty impressive.

The dvd is a bit less of a standout, perhaps because it requires more focus to sit in front of a television and watch a collection of videos than it takes to listen to an album. As is to be expected, most of the videos have lower production quality, which tends to make them a little less enjoyable. But there are still quite a few good showcases here, including All Time Low’s “Poppin’ Champagne” remix video and Underoath’s “Desperate Times, Desperate Measures”, a video that plays out almost like a David Lynch short film. Motion City Soundtrack manages to make both the cd and the dvd discs, though with two different versions of their song “Fell In Love Without You.” The video version is a bit lighter and seems to pull more emotion.  Hit the Lights gets point for pulling off a decent zombie-laden video for their party song “Stay Out.”

In listening to the album and watching the videos, though, keep in mind that this compilation is merely a promotional item for the 2009 Take Action Tour that began on February 11th in Sauget, Illinois and wraps up at the start of April.  The tour itself features a solid lineup, including Cute Is What We Aim For, Breathe Carolina, Meg & Dia, Every Avenue, and Anarbor. For more information on the tour, visit the Take Action Tour site.

On a scale of 1 to 10: 10 for the cause, 7 for the compilation
Perfect For: Those looking for a cheap sampler of new artists that also benefits those looking to make a change
Stay Away if: You’d rather listen to a Rihanna song than see a video of her promoting a cause to which she hasn’t submitted a song

To purchase Take Action! Volume 8, visit Amazon

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