Pop2! – The Second 20 Hits
Pop2! The Second 20 Hits is basically the second CD from the far superior Total Pop! release, which came only a couple of months before this compilation hit the shops. Targeted at those who own the original Pop! release from 1992, it covers the singles released by the band from 1994-2009. There is no doubt Pop2! is home to some great Erasure songs, such as I Love Saturday, Fingers & Thumbs (Cold Summer's Day), Rock Me Gently, In My Arms, Breathe, the top 10 cover of Solsbury Hill as well as the timeless and sublime Always. Indeed the album concludes with the 2009 Mix of Always, which to the untrained ear is barely different from the original version.
Always and Run To The Sun, their last bona fide chart hits, were surefooted day-glo pop anthems which fitted seamlessly into the canon, but from here on in there’s the distinct impression of water being trod. Singles such as Stay With Me and Rock Me Gently remain serviceable enough ballads, but lack the pizzazz and charm of earlier releases.thequietus.com
This compilation however does miss out some songs that were singles or part of double a-side releases meaning as a discography it is not quiet as well constructed or comprehensive as the original Pop!. Mute also made some poor choices when it came to choosing singles during this period of the band's history with weak remixes of Rain and Moon & The Sky seeing the light of day (albeit as chart ineligible singles), neither of which do any justice to the original album versions. In terms of sound quality, and as with Total Pop!, all tracks have been digitally remastered, although you'd be hard pressed to notice any real difference on the latter tracks.
Pop2! is a slightly inconsistent but generally strong collection of tracks and is of course a perfect companion to the original Pop! release. Largely the single mixes from the Erasure, Nightbird and Light At The End Of The World albums are slightly inferior to their album versions, but if you are a completest or are not familiar with their album counterparts, this release still comes highly recommended.
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