Gene Loves Jezebel

Voodoo Dollies: The Best of Gene Loves Jezebel

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Looked at in the cold light of day and from some years' distance, Gene Loves Jezebel would seem like the last band whose work would stand the test of time. Weird thing, though -- in all their "everything goes" exuberance, from abstract goth wailing to balls-out Sunset Strip rock, the Aston brothers, much like their labelmates in the Cult, made everything work somehow. Not all the time, certainly, but Voodoo Dollies wisely draws on the best and biggest hits of the group, not to mention a couple of rarer items for the hardcore fanbase, to make an enjoyable career overview (certainly better than Some of the Best of Gene Loves Jezebel). Following a straight chronological order and enjoying the usual high quality of Beggars Banquet remastering, the 18-track collection is a fine treat. Besides the obvious numbers like "Desire (Come and Get It)," "The Motion of Love" (appearing here in a single mix), and "Jealous," the less well-known songs help to really flesh out the band's freaked-out, glammed-up appeal. There's the psychotic drama of "Upstairs" and "Always a Flame," the self-descriptive, perfect FM radio cut "Gorgeous," the attractive psych-shimmer of "Kiss of Life," and the underrated single "Josephina," which would have given the band a hit in earlier days, but didn't connect with the 1993 zeitgeist. The most obscure cut is an interesting one -- an alternate version of Promise's "Influenza," the entrancing and moody instrumental here given striking lyrics sung by Michael Aston and a slightly faster tempo. It would have worked excellently on the original album, and is a definite highlight here. Appreciative liner notes and a slew of photographs from throughout the band's career complete this collection, which will satisfy most casual fans' desires to a T.

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