No Boundaries Various artists (Epic) ***Sometimes social awareness and music mix without being overwrought.
Take for instance No Boundaries, a compilation featuring rare, live and unreleased tracks by Pearl Jam, Alanis Morissette, Neil Young, Ben Folds Five, Sarah McLachlan and others, created to benefit refugees in Kosovo.
With a few exceptions, it's a fine collection that doesn't preach but promises at least a $1 million donation to three international aid organizations -- CARE, OXFAM and Doctors Without Borders.
Thankfully, the artists didn't get together and record an all-star ballad benefiting the war-torn Balkan nation.Archive material is offered instead.
The project's lead single, Pearl Jam's remake of Last Kiss, a 1964 hit by J. Frank Wilson and the Cavaliers, is already a hit, holding down No. 3 on Billboard's modern rock chart.
The Seattle band also checks in with a cover of Arthur Alexander's Soldier of Love.
Both songs were previously only available on the band's 1998 Fan Club Christmas single.
The Kosovo relief single will be available in stores Tuesday, and the album will be released June 15 with a list price of $17.97.
No Boundaries is a worthy addition to any rock fan's library simply for showing another side of the Indigo Girls. On Go, Emily Saliers and Amy Ray rock with folk-defying electric fury.
Also, Ms. Morissette displays a hard-sounding edge on Baba that concertgoers are probably aware of. But consumers only familiar with her string of pop singles might not be.
The only real stinker is Bush's "acoustic" (term loosely applied) rereading of Come Down. The original was bad enough. Perhaps it was included to remind listeners of the anguish Kosovo refugees are going through.
-- Kent Kimes