Gruppo Sportivo

Back to 19 Mistakes

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Compiling the best tracks from Gruppo Sportivo's first two albums, Back to 19 Mistakes highlights both their strengths and weaknesses. They could parody almost any musical genre ("I Shot My Manager" aims at both blues and reggae, for example), and when they hit lyrically, they could be quite withering ("Superman," with its love triangle, works very well). But all too often it's new wave/pseudo-'50s lite, as in "Mission a Paris," a spy tale that seems good on the surface, but which is actually pretty devoid of substance. "Disco Really Made It" raises a belly laugh, as does "Rock'n'Roll," but they pass very quickly. Others, like "Blah Blah Magazine," can't even manage a chuckle, although "One Way Love," which sounds like it should be a fist at Eagles-style country-rock, at least offers a little promise. And those are the highlights -- the rest is quite disposable. Of course, they're Dutch and wrote in English, which didn't exactly make things easy for them (even if it helped them find a wider audience), but the idea of Gruppo Sportivo is actually better than the reality. And exactly what their cover of "Mexican Radio" is doing on here is anyone's guess, since it adds precisely nothing to the Wall of Voodoo original.

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