Tourism: Songs From Studios, Stages, Hotelrooms & Other Strange Places

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Mostly recorded live, much of Tourism, a worthy compilation of hits, misses, and new cuts, spotlights how strong an act they are even without the benefit of studio production. From the lead song, "How Do You Do!," a perfectly presented pop ditty, bright and sunny as summer, to a rejuvenated version of one of their biggest hits, "It Must Have Been Love" -- you have to hear 45,000 Chileans singing back-up to truly appreciate what was one of their least affecting ballads -- you come to appreciate what true pop craftsmanship is. A spare "Things Will Never Be the Same," on which the two share lead vocals with only the backing of an acoustic guitar, and the haunting, hopeful "Queen of Rain" are both so accomplished they should have been released as singles. As with their previous album, Joyride, there is very little filler on this disc; though "So Far Away" and "Here Comes the Weekend" are a bit routine, they are still well-crafted and well-presented ballads. Not quite a greatest hits package, this is your best bet as an introduction to Roxette.

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