Om Lounge: 15 Year Anniversary

The Om Lounge series has been around, off and on, for 15 years now, and this celebratory compilation nicely sums up the strengths of both the label in general and this series in particular. Because the music here is all intended to fit under the "lounge" designation, none of it is very demanding of the ear, though there are quite a few tracks to which one could dance if one wished: PC Synergy's "Ready 2 Wear" is especially energetic, and Home & Garden's "Someday" embeds a propulsive house groove inside a lovely pop song. There's a very low-key reggae number from Lisa Shaw titled "Inside My Love," and a slightly disappointing new mix of Rithma's "Map Point Baby." But the best tracks are the ones that offer more warm, soft ambience than thumping beats: these include Rocket Empire's gentle "Simmer Down Jammie," Asad Risvi's dreamy "Dois Pólos," and Gelka's gently bumping "Rasta Baby" (which is not a reggae song, despite the title). A few of the inclusions -- particularly the rather dreary "LifeB" by German artist Nicken -- seem slightly questionable, but there are no true clunkers. As a soundtrack for reading on a rainy afternoon, snuggling on the couch with a loved one, or driving through a pretty countryside, this collection is pretty hard to beat. ~ Rick Anderson

Please enable Javascript to view this page competely.