Various Artists

Teen Riot

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It's impossible not to compare Razor & Tie's Teen Riot compilation to Rhino's Heartthrob Hits; after all, both concentrate on slick teen idol pop from the '80s, from bubbly dance numbers to sentimental ballads. Unfortunately, overall, the two are quite similar in execution as well as concept, containing many of the same artists and in some cases the exact same songs. In other words, if you have one, you probably won't want the other. In its favor, though, Teen Riot does add a few artists not present on Heartthrob Hits whose contributions fit the theme perfectly (New Edition's "Cool It Now," Stacey Q's "Two of Hearts," and Martika's number one hit "Toy Soldiers"). Plus, taken as a listen unto itself, Teen Riot evokes the same sort of nostalgia for its era that Heartthrob Hits does; these songs are unmistakably products of the '80s, and they'll be surprisingly infectious for many people who grew up while this music dominated MTV and, especially, pop radio. It's just a shame that this territory was already covered in very similar fashion.

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