Mecano

Siglo XXI

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Billed as the most comprehensive Mecano compilation release to date, Siglo XXI isn't much different from the previous couple greatest-hits albums chronicling the Spanish synth pop trio's recording output to date -- that is, unless you go for the Deluxe Edition. Following the initial breakup of Mecano in 1993, there has been a steady stream of compilations. The first of them, Ana, José, Nacho (1998), was a million-seller that featured eight new songs alongside 22 greatest hits. The second, Grandes Éxitos (2005), was a 30-track double-disc CD compilation accompanied by a DVD featuring 20 video clips. (There was also the eight-CD box set Obras Completas [2005], but that's another matter.) Released a mere four years later, Siglo XXI is yet another double-disc CD compilation. Like Grandes Éxitos, it features 30 tracks of previously released material sequenced chronologically, beginning with the breakout hit "Hoy No Me Puedo Levantar" and following with more or less the same selection of hit singles. There are a couple differences worth noting, however minor they may be. For one, Siglo XXI includes a couple of the new recordings from Ana, José, Nacho ("Stereosexual," "Cuerpo y Corazón"), whereas Grandes Éxitos went no further than the final full-length album Aidalai (1991). More significantly, Siglo XXI tacks on a few tracks of previously unreleased material: "María Luz" is a new recording from 2009 that was written and produced by José María Cano, and there are a couple contemporary remixes of fan favorites "Un Año Más" and "La Fuerza del Destino" that were done by second parties. None of these is essential, the club-oriented remixes in particular, but the entirely acoustic "María Luz" is at least curious in how out of character it is for the rhythmically inclined trio. All in all, if you stick with the standard edition of Siglo XXI, what you get in essence is the Grandes Éxitos compilation plus three new tracks of minor significance. On the other hand, if you shell out additional money for the Deluxe Edition, you get quite a lot more. The Deluxe Edition is better packaged and boasts two DVDs and a 96-page book that will surely entice Mecano fanatics. The DVDs feature 16 video clips (the same ones featured on Grandes Éxitos) and a whopping 32 live clips that range in date from 1982 to 1992. The book features a biography, chronology, discography, lyrics, and more than 100 photos.