Various Artists

Hardest Hits, Vol. 2

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The decent five-volume series Hardest Hits has a slightly misleading title -- the songs it includes rarely fall into the realm of hard rock or even heavy metal. Based in the '80s, the songs tend to stick to the new wave of the early part of the decade and the alternative pop/rock that came out of that era. The series was released by SPG in the U.K., so several selections will be unfamiliar to listeners in the States. Some might even be unknown to U.K. listeners since the series occasionally reaches well beyond chart hits and into cult favorites. The second volume features Naked Eyes' "Always Something There to Remind Me," Cetu Javu's "Situations," Re-Flex's "Politics of Dancing," the Normal's "Warm Leatherette," Pigbag's "Papa's Got a Brand New Pigbag," and Abecedarians' "Smiling Monarchs."

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