Donna Regina

A Collection of Little Secrets

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Many aspects of this compilation make total sense. It's released by Tricatel, a label based in a country (France) that Donna Regina are more than a little familiar with -- at least as far as the music is concerned. The compilation couldn't have a better title, either; Donna Regina's songs flow through the ears like whispers, and they are in fact not known by nearly enough indie pop fans. (The fans they do have are probably too bashful to post on Internet message boards.) The group's alignment with Berlin's Karaoke Kalk has increased their profile considerably, and the three albums they've released on that label to date -- 1999's A Quiet Week in the House, 2002's Northern Classic, and 2003's Late -- are tidily summarized here. Each of those albums has no trouble standing on its own, so it's not that this disc was truly needed, but the manner in which it is selected and sequenced certainly justifies its existence. It does help that the three albums share a similar production aesthetic and are essentially minor variations of each other. At just over an hour in length, A Collection of Little Secrets resembles a mixtape that a friend might put together in order to convince you of some lost group's greatness. It does make it plainly evident that Donna Regina is one of the most significant and productive indie pop groups around.

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