Various Artists

Monster '80s, Vol. 2

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There are a million different compilations of '80s music, so many that there is no way to tell how definitive any one collection is when there could easily be a better one right behind it in the aisle at the CD store. But when it comes to delivering big hits, Monster 80's, Vol. 2 is a surefire winner, even if the songs aren't always the greatest. The collection could probably go without "Missing You," or "Miss Me Blind," or even "Caribbean Queen," but these collections usually don't try to follow a genre pattern, so this is more of a radio-hit mishmash than anything else. Still, the hypnotic "Voices Carry" and the lush "Everybody Wants to Rule the World" have aged wonderfully, and guilty-pleasure tracks from Loverboy, Nena, and the Fixx are good for more than just nostalgia. With so many of these albums glutted with filler, at least this album is packed with recognizable songs, making it an easy recommendation despite the questionable song choices.

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