The Best of 1984-1993: Strange and Funny

Womack & Womack

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The Best of 1984-1993: Strange and Funny Review

by Richie Unterberger

This 16-track, 77-minute single-disc compilation draws from all half-dozen of the albums issued by the duo in the 1980s and 1990s, leaning hardest on their 1983 debut Love Wars and 1988's Conscience. Due to its generous length and wide-ranging selection (as well as historical liner notes), it's certainly the best collection of their work available. It's only average middle-of-the-road soul of the period, however, and at times pretty lukewarm in its adult contemporary romantic funk trappings (and pretty dated in its slick '80s-'90s production). The highlight is unmistakably 1988's "Teardrops," beyond a doubt the catchiest song they managed in their career. Though missing the U.S. charts altogether (as did all of their singles), it was a hit in parts of Europe, and made it all the way to number one in Australia -- which goes some way toward explaining why this best-of was issued on an Australian label. "Celebrate the World" achieved some popularity in those countries as well, and as it happens is the second-best cut here, with its jubilant tone and insistent rhythm.

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