Various Artists

Just Say Yo: Vol. 2 of Just Say Yes

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Granted, the various volumes in the Just Say Yes series do sound like the final death cry of '80s rock, but there's a very good reason for that: They were the final death cry of '80s rock. What's interesting is how well some of them have held up, and how clearly, in retrospect, they foreshadowed some of the more exciting trends in '90s rock. On Just Say Yo, Israeli chanteuse Ofra Haza gets remixed by Emilio Pasquez, with stunning results; the funky breakbeats, simulated scratching and wailing, melismatic vocals point toward the Asian Underground and work by such other Middle Eastern beat freaks as Natascha Atlas. Martini Ranch and Erasure remind us how much fun electronic pop was back in the day (with funked-up remixes of "Hot Dog" and "Chains of Love," respectively), while Morrissey reminds us, again, how little fun the '80s were for him. There is live melodic pop bliss from the Mighty Lemon Drops and studio melodic pop bliss from James, and there is "Call Me Blue," the only song you ever need to own by A House. Throwing Muses offer a little bit of crunchy fiber to keep us regular, and k.d. lang offers an inevitable Patsy Cline cover. What's not to love?

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