Various Artists

The Coolest Songs in the World, Vol. 3

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If Murray "The K" Kaufman host a series of great compilation albums featuring top singles in the '60s and the fabled CKLW-AM was able to do the same in the '70s, why shouldn't Little Steven Van Zandt, host of the best rock & roll radio show of the new millennium, bring this great tradition back to life? The Coolest Songs in the World, Vol. 3 doesn't have as many Top 40 hits as any given installment of Now That's What I Call Music (truth to tell, there aren't any actual "hits" here), but if you're looking for 47 minutes of high grade garage-centric rock, you'll find this to be fine value for money. As on a typical episode of Little Steven's Underground Garage, this disc covers a broad swath of garage-friendly noises, from the hard rock thunder of the Dictators ("The Savage Beat") to the Byrds-meets-the Beatles refinement of the Shake ("She's My Girl") -- and on Vol. 3, that's just the first two tracks! Further down the song list, the Woggles jump-start the party with "Got a Heat On," Back in Spades deliver some high-impact Motor City rock on "Detroit Slums (Here We Come)," the Fleshtones continue their endless East Coast frat rock bash in "Pretty Pretty Pretty," Manic Hispanic transform Rancid into a gang of batos locos on "Rudy Cholo," and the Sugar Twins present a delicious sunshine pop parody/tribute with "For You." There are 15 tunes here and even the least of them sound pretty fine in this company, and The Coolest Songs in the World, Vol. 3 is the best album yet in this series, offering top-notch listening for garage rock mavens and beginners alive. So when is "Little Steven Presents Gassers for Submarine Race Watchers" coming out?

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