Various Artists

Wave Pop Revival

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Wave Pop Revival is a compilation made up mostly of new wave or post-new wave pop acts from the U.K. and Europe. Produced as it was for the German market, the set is heavy on singles that made little or no dent in the American charts. This might turn off those looking for a basic 1980s comp, but should encourage the more adventurous fan of the era. Sure, the Bangles' "A Hazy Shade of Winter" and "Pretty in Pink" from the Psychedelic Furs are obvious classics and seemingly appear on 90 percent of '80s retrospectives. But how many collections can boast a lineup that includes Fiction Factory's droning "(Feels Like) Heaven" and "Happy Birthday" from Altered Images, not to mention a Spandau Ballet single that isn't "True"? While these tracks make for enjoyable listening, it's Freur's "Doot Doot" that steals Wave Pop Revival. A blurping, primitive electronic experiment married to vocals that are somehow mournful and preening all at once, the song (from 1983) presaged affected indifference that would define later movements such as shoegazer and American indie rock. None of that really matters in the context of Wave Pop Revival, where Freur is sandwiched between the tasteful Scottish adult pop of Deacon Blue and the cooing, leering "Midnight Man" from Flash & the Pan. But it does illustrate the potential this release has for anyone interested in less-traveled roadways of 1980s pop.

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