Various Artists

World's Greatest Air Guitar Album

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Well, World's Greatest Air Guitar Album certainly lives up to its name. The two-disc set is jammed with outsized riffs, fretwork of the "weedly weedly" variety, and hard-charging rhythms that are sure to get eager air guitarists' fingers flying. But while it often states the obvious (Rainbow's "Since You've Been Gone," Queen's "Bohemian Rhapsody"), the collection also seems to assume a certain amount of musical egalitarianism from its audience of electric guitar devotees. Left-field choices like Blur's "Song 2" or Hüsker Dü's "Sorry Somehow" certainly rock, but they look a little strange next to established classics from Motörhead and Deep Purple. Perhaps that's the true nature of what a World's Greatest Air Guitar Album should be -- admitting that Run-D.M.C.'s famous collaboration with Aerosmith is just as incendiary a moment in the history of guitar rock as, say, the screeching, crying Vernon Reid solo that explodes the center of "Cult of Personality." What really matters is that the album rocks, and that it does, even if the choices waver here and there. Air-guitar virtuosos everywhere will now be able to focus their fingers on imaginary pull offs and hammer ons instead of wasting time advancing several separate CDs to the proper moment of six string-tapping insanity.

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