Save yourself some money by not purchasing this compilation of the Au Pairs' best material. Instead, hunt down the RPM issues of their two proper albums, Playing With a Different Sex and Sense & Sensuality. Why? Because buying this Cherry Red compilation will only tell you that you need those two albums. Not only does Shock to the System fail to put anything new into circulation that wasn't included on the RPM issues, but the two proper albums feature more detailed liner notes, better graphics, and, obviously, more material between them. Honestly, the concept of releasing a best-of from a band with only two studio records to their credit is silly, especially when such a thing can't offer anything in the way of non-LP singles or stray compilation tracks. (Completists should be thankful, then, that this disc doesn't suck them in with one or two songs they don't have.) The tracks are well chosen, and the material is solid -- the Au Pairs were a fantastic post-punk band, after all -- but this is catalog recycling at its worst. You're basically getting half of each of their albums; since they're both quite consistent throughout, investing a little time and just a little more money in tracking down the albums would be well worth it.
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AllMusic Review by Andy Kellman