Men Without Hats were one of Canada's best -- and quirkiest -- new wave bands. Under the guidance of mysterious frontman Ivan and his brother Stefan Doroschuk, the Hats delivered some of the best synth pop of the early '80s. And much of that is on display in this collection -- the hits from their Folk of the '80s EP, their smash Rhythm of Youth album and their enigmatic Folk of the '80s, Pt. 3 record. This includes unforgettable songs like "Living in China," "I Got the Message," "Antarctica," "I Like," "Ban the Game," and "Where Do the Boys Go?" This is a career retrospective, so it also features later hits, such as "Pop Goes the World," "Freeways," and a cover of Bryan Ferry's "Editions of You." Though the original albums are well worth seeking out to hear in their entirety, this is a strong collection, definitely weighted towards the beginning of the Hats' career, when they were at their most powerful and profound. Don't let "The Safety Dance" fool you -- Ivan was writing about some pretty heavy stuff a lot of the time and the nifty little new wave dance nuggets in which he encapsulated his weighty lyrics just made the band's subversion all the more eloquent. This is the next best thing to the original albums. A formidable collection.
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