Aware Compilation, Vol. 7 illustrates both the degree to which post-grunge alternative rock has stagnated, and the possibility of its continued viability through heartfelt, unaffected songwriting and performance. Bands like Dragline, Porcelain, Five for Fighting, and Wayne offer tuneful songs that, like the rest of the compilation, generally fall somewhere in between sensitive adult alternative and serious post-grunge. However, other selections tend to be plagued by pretension, solipsism, awkward preciousness, or bland conservatism. So, all in all, Vol. 7 works as a microcosm of the radio-friendly strain of alternative at the turn of the millennium, even if the music itself is rather erratic.