Various Artists

International Pop Overthrow, Vol. 3

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The massive, burgeoning power pop scene of the late '90s can be difficult for the neophyte to navigate simply because of the intimidating number of acts. And while there are great finds by the ton, there are just as many duds. For that reason, the International Pop Overthrow series is a fairly good place to start. This installment in the series commemorates the festival's third anniversary and includes a mixture of hits, album tracks, and rarities from bands that appeared at the summer 2000 festival. Unlike the prior two volumes, however, Vol. 3 includes a much better, more immediate mixture of pop music that leaps off the page in ways that the older material did not. It's helped in no small part by the presence of some bigger names, whether it's the excellent, exclusive "California Sex Lawyer" by Fountains of Wayne or Spinning Jennies' anthemic "Tea and Apathy." In fact, some of the best bands of the late-'90s power pop movement, like Supremium, the Rosenbergs, the Andersons, and the Jellybricks, are featured here. In fact, the great Tories are featured with an exclusive track, "All of Our Crimes," credited here to Headset. Yes, there are copious amounts of filler, but this type of broad-reaching compilation is meant to act as a Cliffs Notes of pop releases from the past year. It's an excellent place for listeners to discover new bands that don't make it on the radio, even if they probably should. And, unlike the first two volumes, the compilers have managed to create a great summer mix tape that should draw listeners in rather than intimidate them.

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