Add It Up is not quite the definitive Violent Femmes compilation one might hope for, even if it does feature 23 tracks and adds essential later items missing from their first comp, Debacle: The First Decade. There are several charming rarities to hook dedicated fans, who will likely find several favorites missing (perhaps another song or two could have been substituted for the between-song bits). The group's self-titled debut does a better job of encapsulating why they were important, and remains the first Femmes album to buy; besides, no compilation that includes live versions of "Kiss Off" and "Add It Up" in place of the original studio cuts can claim to be definitive. However, even casual fans who enjoyed Violent Femmes will find post-debut songs like "American Music" and "I Held Her in My Arms" to be essential, so even if Add It Up is a little too imperfect to be a necessary first purchase, it's definitely a necessary second purchase. Unless you're a die-hard fan, it will likely be the only other Violent Femmes disc you'll need.
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AllMusic Review by Steve Huey