Various - The Anthems '07

Opening with Kate Nash's surprise hit Foundations, the first CD of the second 'Anthems' collection brings together a number of big-hitters that dented the charts either this year or last. There's no real flow to the proceedings and even the most part-time of music fans will undoubtedly own most of these tracks, the majority of contributions (The Killers, The Fratellis, The Feeling) having set up shop on radio airwaves, and therefore within mainstream public consciousness, for much too long. It's also rather strange having the soulless dreck offered up by Maroon 5 sharing disc space with Amy Winehouse's definitive Rehab; similarly, slyly inventive indie-disco faves from Maximo Park and The Rakes sound even better when neighbouring Ordinary Boys, Hard-Fi and - God help us - Razorlight. Hasn't Johnny Borrell got a big enough ego without having his outfit's drippy America featuring on every compilation going?

The second CD is even more erratic, its all-inclusive spectrum spanning bed-wetting balladry (Keane, Embrace), the retro days of Britpop (Oasis, Pulp) and even a couple of dancey tracks (Fatboy Slim, X-Press 2). It's a much better CD than the first, Ian Brown's career-best F.E.A.R. featuring alongside the slinky groove of Moloko's Fun For Me. There's even room for The Jesus & Mary Chain and Black Grape, inclusions that may have younger rock fans broadening their CD collections.

However, even with a smattering of solid tracks, the whole endeavour feels rather pointless. This might work well as background music to a chilled-out (read: desperately unhip) house party or as unchallenging driving music but I'd encourage you to spend your hard-earned cash on a 'proper' album. If you get this, you'll just be revisiting the same tracks you can hear everyday on Virgin Radio. Except there's no Snow Patrol, a bit of a puzzler considering the rest of the tracklist...



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