Various Artists

D.I.Y.: Shake It Up: American Power Pop II (1978-80)

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D.I.Y.: Shake It Up: American Power Pop II (1978-80) Review

by Stephen Thomas Erlewine

In general, the songs on D.I.Y.: Shake It Up: American Power Pop II are a little lighter and bouncier than those on its predecessor Come Out and Play, but since there was always an element of sweetness in power pop anyway, that difference will matter to only a handful of listeners. Shake It Up still shares many of the same characteristics of Come Out and Play -- namely, it's a collection of 19 dynamic, hook-laden singles from the first wave of American power pop bands. Again, only a couple of these songs are well-known outside of power-pop circles -- the Romantics' "What I Like About You" had become a frat-rock anthem by the end of the '80s -- but within those circles, the Rubinoos ("I Wanna Be Your Boyfriend"), Chris Stamey & the dB's ("[I Thought] You Wanted to Know"), the Shoes ("Tomorrow Night," "Too Late"), 20/20 ("Yellow Pills," "Giving It All"), Off Broadway USA ("Stay in Time"), Holly and the Italians ("Tell That Girl to Shut Up"), and the Beat ("Work-A-Day World," "Walking Out on Love") and their songs became semi-legendary. With the exception of Come Out and Play, there's no better overview of the early-'80s power-pop movement than Shake It Up, even with the absence of such major players as Dwight Twilley, Phil Seymour, and Great Buildings.

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