Theoretically, pairing Thomas Dolby and Talk Talk on a Back 2 Back Hits collection is a good move. Both artists had plenty more to offer outside of their hit singles, but casual fans of synth pop would like to have the biggest hits from either artist, maybe even in one place. That's the intention behind the Back 2 Back Hits series, but that's not the end result. While the Talk Talk half comes close to distilling their biggest hits to five songs ("It's My Life," "Talk Talk," "Life's What You Make It," and arguably "Such a Shame" are all worthy entries, though "Dum Dum Girl" is missed), the Thomas Dolby section misses the mark completely. It does have "She Blinded Me with Science" and "Europa and the Pirate Twins," two great early singles, but the rest of the collection consists of his lame synth-funk from the late '80s, or a stilted edit of The Flat Earth's "Dissident." It's barely adequate and it's not made any more acceptable by the pretty good Talk Talk selection. Together, they make for a fairly good Back 2 Back Hits disc, but it's hard not to feel that it's a missed opportunity.
Share this page
AllMusic Review by Stephen Thomas Erlewine