Stealthy romantics collate their non-hits

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Spain – Spirituals: The Best Of Spain

Of all the melancholy slowcore bands of the mid-’90s, Spain were one of the more imaginative:a debonair, blues-tinged group from LA led by Josh Haden (son of jazz bassist Charlie Haden) that frequently sounded like Spiritualized crossed with a cool jazz quartet. Spirituals plucks four songs off their superb 1995 debut, The Blue Moods Of Spain, places them alongside selections from Spain’s decent second album and weaker third and adds some useful rarities (a live version of Willie Nelson’s “Funny How Time Slips Away”). It makes for a neat retrospective, and Haden’s calm dissection of his own doubt and guilt is still unnerving, like eavesdropping on an intimate conversation. The Blue Moods… itself, though, remains the best memorial to this woefully underappreciated band.