Saint Etienne

Too Young to Die

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    9
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Although their albums were considerably more consistent than most dance-pop acts, Saint Etienne's high points were always their singles. Released prior to a quiet, lengthy hiatus, Too Young to Die collects all of their singles, from their debut disco cover of Neil Young's "Only Love Can Break Your Heart" to their last, "He's on the Phone," providing a thoroughly entertaining chronicle of the group's career. Much of the music sounds somewhat dated -- which is always a problem with dance music -- but Saint Etienne was essentially a very good Euro-pop band, reveling in kitsch and style in equal measure. At their best -- "Only Love Can Break Your Heart," "You're in a Bad Way," "Join Our Club," "Who Do You Think You Are," among others -- they found the heart in nightclubbing. The quality of the music dips slightly in the latter half of the album, but there is prime pop throughout the disc. [Initial pressings came with a bonus disc of remixes, all of which are worthwhile for dedicated fans.]

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