The Best of Sash [X-It]

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Famous for being the first act to have four consecutive hits in four different languages, '90s DJ and producer Sash! has found himself back in fashion thanks to the resurgence of commercial dance acts like Cascada, Scooter, and Basshunter. His second best of, following 2001's Greatest Hits, includes his 11 U.K. Top 20 singles plus a smattering of European hits, and reveals that his brand of bilingual dance-pop has aged surprisingly well. Perhaps the unluckiest of chart acts, Sash! reached number two an agonizing five times, denied only by some of the biggest singles of the decade. And while "Ecuador" and "Adelante" are forgettable Euro-trance-by-numbers, his other three near-misses are bona fide dance classics. The pizzicato sounds of breakthrough hit "Encore Une Fois," also featured here in a brand new inferior remixed version, recalls Faithless' seminal "Insomnia"; "Stay," featuring a dramatic spoken word intro, is an epic slice of soulful Hi-NRG pop, while "Mysterious Times," arguably his best single, is a subtle attempt at progressive house. An ever-changing use of different vocalists is also an inspired move, giving each track an identity that could otherwise have gotten lost amongst the similar trance-pop production. Disco diva Shannon adds a touch of class to the uplifting "Move Mania"; Boy George provides the soulful tones to the flamenco-tinged "Run" while Tina Cousins, the only vocalist to appear twice here, lends her sultry vocals to the gorgeous chillout of "Just Around the Hill." Of course Sash! didn't get a reputation as purveyor of cheesy trance for nothing, and on the likes of the Chariots of Fire sampling "La Primavera" and the Dr. Alban-fronted "Colour the World," he sounds like he's permanently stuck in a 1993 Europop time wave. And the bonus CD featuring four of his biggest singles all remixed in three different versions is a rather pointless disc-wasting exercise. Although The Best of Sash is unlikely to convert the more sophisticated dance aficionados, its impressive run of hit singles should satisfy any seasoned clubber unashamed to embrace their pure pop side.