H.I.M.

And Love Said No: The Greatest Hits '97-'04

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H.I.M. enthusiasts will be happy to know that the hits from their first four albums have been assembled into a simple compilation that spans their first decade of material. These singles were previously available in the extremely comprehensive The Single Collection, but that weighty set demanded that listeners sift through various alternate takes and instrumental versions. Now, with And Love Said No: Greatest Hits 1997-2004, there's an easily accessible launch pad for newcomers to the realm of H.I.M. Fans of the Scandinavian emotional retro metal sound will find this record the most concise and acceptable way to familiarize themselves with the Finnish rockers' catalog, with a couple of songs chosen from each of the first four releases. Hardcore followers may be disappointed by the presence of the cover songs ("Wicked Game" by Chris Isaak and "Solitary Man" by Neil Diamond) instead of the strangely omitted album cuts like "And Love Said No" and "Beyond Redemption." But regardless, this 16-song collection is definitely the best starting point for freshmen to the school of H.I.M., and for those who are looking to learn more about the origin of Bam Margera's pentagram heart logo. The metallic material will appeal to the thrashers and eyeliner fetishists; alternately, those darker souls who appreciate more raw and dramatic goth will prefer the stripped-down song versions present on Uneasy Listening, Vol. 1.

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