Dead Can Dance

Wake

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Those who balk at the cash and time investment of DEAD CAN DANCE 1981-1998, the comprehensive 2001 three-disc box set, might prefer the much more concise two-disc anthology WAKE: THE BEST OF DEAD CAN DANCE. Stripping away the radio sessions, live tracks, and previously unreleased material, this 26-track overview focuses its attention on the duo's late-'80s/early-'90s heyday. During this period, the group's austere form of keyboard-heavy post-punk atmospherics was opening up to include Lisa Gerrard's increasingly ethnographic world-music obsessions, along with Brendan Perry's classical influences. Singles like the oddly danceable "The Ubiquitous Mr. Lovegrove" sit comfortably next to more "serious" tracks like "The Host of Seraphim" and "In the Kingdom of the Blind the One-Eyed Are Kings." Although the non-chronological order might make it difficult for newcomers to trace the line of Dead Can Dance's career, WAKE remains the best starting point for those seeking entry into this unique musical world.

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