Each box comes with random items like signed photos and swag. Sometimes it's linked to the bands whose albums are included and sometimes it's not. Obviously getting swag from a band you don't know and don't have the album for feels kind of random, but you never know. Maybe you get lucky and find something new. This month, most of my swag was from the bands included. (To be totally honest, I don't really care about swag. I have a signed poster from Tori Amos and she's my favorite and I still don't really care. I'd rather listen to the music for the most part, but I think Music Box wants to offer additional items related to music. That makes sense.)
This month's sampler was really the weak point for me. I wasn't into many of the genres, but that's how a music sampler works! However, I did fall in love with track #6, "All for Me Grog" by the Kilmaine Saints, a Celtic punk band from Pennsylvania. They sound a lot like the Pogues, who are one of my favorite bands of all time, so I went ahead and ordered more music from them. I think in that way The Music Box does its job! It exposed me to a band I never would have known existed, and it got them sales. :)
The first CD included was Waking up on Broadway by Seth Bradley. I loved this! From what I gather, this is an old album and Seth has moved on to work with The Personnel, a band from Chicago, but I enjoyed the style of this. It's kind of a low-fi alternative sound with a bit of an edge. Not too poppy, but not too loud. Pretty much just the kind of music I like to listen to when working.
My album from Sara Syms, fade to blue, was autographed. I had high expectations for this one, because aside from punk and some grunge rock from the 90's, most of the music I listen to is female singer-songwriter stuff like Tori Amos, Ani Difranco, Dar Williams, Sarah McLachlan, Paula Cole, etc. Syms is a bit more country than I normally like. However, I did enjoy this CD a lot and I will listen to regularly. She kind of has a Shawn Colvin/Chrissie Hynde hybrid sound. I'm glad to see this style represented, too, because female singer-songwriters tend to be discovered as opening acts more than anything.
Overall, I still feel like The Music Box is a great value. I discovered two musicians through the included CDs, as well as a new band from a track on the sampler. I'm skipping next month but will be resubscribing soon as soon as I get my music collection organized. I recommend trying The Music Box, because really, for the price, you have so little to lose.