Various - Kiss Classics
After last week's lacklustre R&B - the Collection, here we get a lesson in how to put together the perfect party compilation. Surprisingly, Kiss are behind this one, the reason for its success no doubt down to them basing the tracklist on the tracks their radio station get the most requests for. As a result, we get a dance/urban crossover that lifts classic pop moments from the vaults and places them next to today's biggest hits.
CD 1 is perfect for those who, in this age of new rave, are nostalgic for a bit of good ol' nineties dance nonsense. Tracks from Baby D, Robin S and Strike sound dated in the noughties but that is their exact charm; I dare anyone not to chant along with The Original's I Luv U Baby. Despite the high quota of these old-skool anthems, there are some more recent club tracks. The hit remix of Moloko's Sing it Back will make a few of us misty-eyed for a Balearic summer gone by, while simultaneously reminding us that Roisin Murphy's place was always on the dancefloor. Weirdly, over-played and tacky contributions from David Guetta and Soulsearcher only make older cuts from Daft Punk and Run DMC vs. Jason Nevins sound as fresh as the day they were released. Oh, and Insomnia will never NOT sound amazing, even in its neutered radio edit form.
Catering for the R&B crowd, CD 2 veers in direction but keeps the winning old-versus-new slant and, along with it, the party swinging. TLC and Destiny's Child bring modern-day sass, while the genre's earlier masculine attitude is present in the cheesy but catchy hits from R. Kelly and Montell Jordan. Slower jams from Arrested Development, Soul II Soul and The Fugees keep it flowing along nicely, but give the man his due: Justin Timberlake's SexyBack, more than a year after its release, is still the phattest (yes, I can pull that word off, thank you) thing here, ending a collection that might not feature the most subtle songs ever but still brings the fun in. Stuff the carols, and listen to this before you head out on Xmas Eve!