The Ballad Hits

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Lengthier variations on this album were released overseas a couple of months before the American version; the Swedish edition, Love Peas: Ballad Hits, contained 19 tracks to this one's 15. But Roxette is a much bigger act in Sweden, and in Europe generally, than in America, where most of those who remember the duo will wonder how they could fill an album of only their ballad hits. Indeed, as far as the U.S. is concerned, there are only five singles-chart entries here, and only three real hits: "It Must Have Been Love," "Listen to Your Heart," and "Fading Like a Flower." Roxette scored more hits than that stateside, of course, during the three-year period, early 1989-early 1992, when they were successful here. But tracks like "The Look," "Dangerous," and "Joyride" are a bit too up-tempo for the concept. Outside the North American continent, they carried on throughout the '90s and beyond, scoring with hits like "Crash! Boom! Bang!" and "Wish I Could Fly," included here. (The album opens and closes with new tracks, "A Thing About You" and "Breathe.") And they kept to their usual practice, coming up with attractive pop hooks, playing their synthesizers, and relying on Marie Fredriksson's emotional singing to put their greeting-card lyrics across. Americans may have lost interest at about the time that Nirvana came roaring in from the Northwest, but Roxette has been consistent, and nostalgic fans ready to rent Pretty Woman for the umpteenth time and relive their late-'80s/early-'90s adolescence will find plenty of ear candy here, in addition to the few songs they know by heart.

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