Various Artists


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They called it the second summer of love over in England. They called it EMF mania or Jesus Jones frenzy in the States, simply because they didn't know what baggy or Madchester was. They gravitated toward the glitzy, neo-psychedelic club beats of these two groups, with the ravers spending some time with Shamen, the clubbers with the Stereo MC's, and the collegiates with the Happy Mondays, the Stone Roses, and the Charlatans -- and the Mock Turtles, the Wonderstuff, Pop Will Eat Itself, and the House of Love all hit college airwaves, as well. It was a heady time, those early '90s, and Virgin's double-disc collection does an extraordinary job of capturing the feel of those pre-Brit-pop, pre-grunge days, even if it bends the rules on occasion, bringing in the Smiths' "How Soon is Now?" or Moby's "Go" to flesh out the track listing. In the end, it doesn't really matter, because Unbelievable is a first-rate collection that captures its time, even for those who didn't live through it. If you were young, full of love, and cheerfully, deliberately stupid, this is what you listened to in 1990-1991, and it sounds as good now as it did then.

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