Six Degrees is taking a pretty novel approach to the concept of "torch" songs. As described by Six Degrees impresario Bob Duskis, "torch" songs are "named for their slow-burning, sensuous quality". A classic example would be the "Blue Velvet" song as voiced by Isabella Rossellini. Typically, traditional vocal-jazz standards & ballads are used as "torch" songs. However, there are no standards performed here. Most of the tracks are essentially slow downtempo electronica mixed or sampled w/ smoky vocals.
Because most of the artists (Hawke, Sylk 130, Mandalay, Dzihan & Kamien) are electronica artists who produce for Six Degrees, I think this CD ought to be viewed as an electronica attempt to take on traditional torch-song music. The tracks that best encompass the torch-song theme are: 1,4,5,8,9, and I think the best-made songs are 1,8 & 9.
1. Slow & sultry ballad by jazz vocalist Cassandra Wilson, sparse instrumental
2. A slow heavy beat w/ breathy female vocals
3. Exotic-sounding trip-hop track w/ chant-y melodic vocals by Sarah Cracknell (St. Etienne)
4. Sultry & smoky vocal-jazz piece, cool jazz-club intro - faux live jazz-club feel
5. Space-y synths, snappy drum breaks, exotic percussive tones, echo-y vocals
6. Lilting female vocal (Bjork-like) set over very chill Drum&Bass percussion
7. Moody vocals & synth ballad - not particularly exciting
8. Starts w/ a '40s-style jazz string intro - drops into a funky and smoky groove
9. A beautiful catchy melody - well-made and beautifully sung
10. Moody vocals & sparse downtempo jazz-lounge stuff
11. Lively piano playing interspersed w/ Elvis Costello's earthy vocals