Various Artists

Then: Totally Oldies '80s, Vol. 5

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Then: Totally Oldies '80s is an 18-track collection that rounds up some totally '80s songs. There seems to be no rhyme or reason to the track selection; it seems as if the compilers just closed their eyes and picked songs that were hits or close to it at random. A selection process like that is bound to turn up some winners; here listeners have great songs like Rick Springfield's "Jessie's Girl, " Tracey Ullman's "They Don't Know About Us," and Modern English's "I Melt With You." It also produces some strange picks, like Chilliwack's "My Girl (Gone, Gone, Gone)" and Sneaker's "More Than Just the Two of Us." Most of the songs are vaguely new wave, yet there are enough hard rock tracks to spoil the party for new wavers. Ultimately, the totally random feel of the disc limits its success; the tracks just don't sound good mashed together as they are. Despite this flaw, fans of '80s music who don't really care about history or keeping styles separate or any of that music geek stuff may find this disc to be totally cool background music.

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