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LITERATURE

 » Full Dark, No Stars - Stephen King's new novella questions mankind's ability to trust others.
[02.21.2011 by Bridget Doyle]

MUSIC

 » The Top 30 Albums of 2010 - Fashionably, fabulously late, our favorite music (and believe me, there was a LOT) of 2010, the year that some have called the best year for music ever. And only some of those fools work here. Plenty of usual suspects, lots of ties and a few surprises that I won't spoil, including our unexpected #1.
[12.24.2010 by The LAS Staff]

MUSIC

 » Live: Surfer Blood/The Drums at Lincoln Hall, Chicago, IL - Remember when Weezer used to put together records that you could sing along to and rock out to? That's what Surfer Blood's show was like!
[11.04.2010 by Cory Tendering]

Music Reviews

Screaming Females - Castle Talk
»Screaming Females
Castle Talk
Don Giovanni
Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross - The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
»Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross
The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
The Null Corporation
Deerhunter - Halcyon Digest
»Deerhunter
Halcyon Digest
4AD
No Age - Everything in Between
»No Age
Everything in Between
Sub Pop
Robyn - Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
»Robyn
Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
Konichiwa
The Walkmen - Lisbon
»The Walkmen
Lisbon
Fat Possum
Culture Club
Greatest Hits
Virgin Records

Rating: 7/10 ?


August 4, 2005
Popularity breeds contemptů

Back in my (slightly) younger days my parents had a bad habit of awakening me bright and early by blasting any one of a number of albums from our central stereo system (which just happened to be a flight of stairs below where I lied in slumber). Demolishing some of my earliest memories of Boy George and company were these restless mornings of At Worst: The Best of Boy George and Culture Club.

Now poised to give that comp a run for its money is the aptly-yet-boringly titled Greatest Hits. With 80s nostalgia in full swing, Culture Club takes advantage of such perfect timing to release yet another in a long line of hits compilations.

The super-popular pop group's attempts to mix glam rock with mainstream pop and new wave today caricaturizes the decade's excess and antics with greater ease than any hair metal band. Culture Club was no stranger to controversy and flash - as any good Behind the Music watcher knows - and amidst Boy George's unraveling heroin addiction emerged one of the most interesting in-band breakups (and denials) since Fleetwood Mac recorded Rumors.

Like At Worst, Greatest Hits also leads off with the bands most famous hit, only without the slumber-jarring intro: "Do You Really Want To Hurt Me?" even earned a fame-extending cameo in the Adam Sandler classic (if there is such a thing) The Wedding Singer, and here it is given the opening spot.

The other usual suspects also make an appearance, as one would expect. Classic drunken sing-along track "Karma Chameleon" sounds just as fun on CD than it ever did on cassette. "I'll Tumble 4 Ya" and "Time (Clock of the Heart)" sound hilariously dated, but are still amusing and catchy as ever; the kitschy 80s sound renders these tracks more worthwhile if only for the nostalgia.

Non-radio tracks like "Love is Love" and "Black Money" slow the lower half of the record down. Mostly new-wave styled ballads, these tracks lack the energy and spark found in the songs that made this group famous. Goofy Brit hit "The War Song" wakes up the slump with an appearance on this disc; the simple chant of "War, war is stupid/And people are stupid" can't help but bring a smile (and possibly a giggle) to the face of anyone who hears it.

Although lacking the Boy George solo hits of At Worst, Greatest Hits is a far more thorough look at the band as a whole and goes beyond the four or five songs the casual fan may want or already own. For a snapshot of one of the 80s most memorable pop groups, Greatest Hits fits the bill perfectly.

Reviewed by Natalie B. David
A fresh graduate of the Grady College of Journalism at the University of Georgia, in her spare time she can be found clumsily manipulating words and phrases for LAS and Beautiful/Decay magazine, hungering for sushi, naming inanimate objects or pondering the existence of stiletto heels. If you see her, you should buy her a cup of coffee because, chances are, she probably needs it.

See other reviews by Natalie B. David

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