Record Review 

Assembled from a small batch of Southeast Asian records found at a thrift store (hence the label name), this compilation breezes past Beach Boys-style grooviness, through exotic smoothness a la Martin Denny and into Perez Prado-esque cha-cha.

Actually, the phrase "teen dance music" is a bit misleading. The tracks here are a bit more mature -- though things still get pretty goofy: The Stylers "Chella-la" is an acid-laced Western-sounding number sung like the Chipmunks. Mainstream culture is also represented in the form of spaghetti Western soundtracks and various James Bond themes, all of which are done relatively straight. It all sounds great, though it comes off as somewhat boring -- not good when you consider that it will most likely be adventurous music seekers and cultural anthropologists buying this CD. The psychedelic '60s-influenced tunes are the standouts on this compilation: The Brothers Hawk, The Sound of Silvertones and the Polar Five all combine a garage music aesthetic with Asian overtones, reeling off traditional Chinese anthems on fuzzed-out guitars.

While Teen Music from China and Malaysia is a nice offbeat gem, Thrift Score may want to dig a little deeper into the cultural archives for its next release.


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