Consistently written off as ABBA wannabes and subpar pop poseurs, Ace of Base actually wrote some of the best pop songs of the '90s. Though the vocals were never up to par with even the least accomplished singers and the production was often sparse, the hooks in most of their cuts are irresistible. From their stateside breakthrough hit "All That She Wants" and their biggest single, "The Sign," and through their Top Ten "Beautiful Life" and the remake of "Cruel Summer," this compilation covers the best of their material. But with the addition of the poetic "Everytime It Rains," the pretty "Lucky in Love," the '50s throwback "Always Have, Always Will," the acoustic "Life Is a Flower," and the young-at-heart "C'est la Vie Always 21," you can see that much of what didn't hit big in the U.S. was some of the band's best work. As often happens with pop acts, once they begin to grow as artists, their fan base shrivels, which is exactly what happened with Ace of Base. With this album, though, you can see that when they matured they actually hit their stride.
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AllMusic Review by Bryan Buss