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17 March 2004

Various Artists, Universal Smash Hits 2 (UTV)
This has a pretty good ratio of hits (successful singles) to filler (flopped singles). And when the icy perfection of one genre wears thin, it segues smoothly into another. But, since the songs are all primed for airplay, they have a generic blandness to their big sentiments that the little details in Erykah Badu's "Love of My Life" only makes more apparent (Contrast that ode to hip-hop with the actual hip-hop of the admittedly catchy "Hot in Herre"): India.Arie's feminist empowerment of "Video" helps balances the sleazy misogyny of Mr. Cheeks's "Lights, Camera, Action!", but both tip towards bland. For American listeners into pop as meaingless ear candy, though, it's nice to have the catchy club seduction of Iio's "Rapture" on a domestic disc, though no one anywhere should have to suffer through Mr. Jessica Simpson's "This I Swear".
      — Peter Su

.: posted by Editor 7:56 AM