Watch out, the Cleopatra record label is up to their old tricks. The only original recordings on Pure Energy: The Very Best Of are from Don't Be Afraid, a lackluster album Information Society recorded for Cleopatra in 1997. Otherwise, this is all re-recordings and remixes from the usual stable of Cleopatra remixers. The new version of the group's biggest hit, "What's on Your Mind (Pure Energy)" is sterile and one of Kurt Harland's worst vocal performances. The remix improves the big hit re-recording a bit but the rest of the remixes focus on the slight "goth" side of the band and are absolutely no fun. The cover version of "Are 'Friends' Electric?" with Gary Numan on guest vocals and the sickly version of Madonna's "Express Yourself" have already appeared on numerous Cleopatra compilations, and you're better off without them. Worst of all, the string interlude that segued the tracks "Empty 3.0" and "Closing in 2.0" on Don't Be Afraid is broken by a two-second gap of silence, suggesting the label ripped their own CDs and forgot to the master the disc using "Disc at Once" (if that means nothing to you, ask a PC-friendly teenager). It's a jarring error, easy to hear, and a hint that even the folks at Cleopatra couldn't stand to listen to these re-recordings again.
AllMusic Review by David Jeffries
feat: Gary Numan