The Fixx

Winning Combinations

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Winning Combinations features five hits apiece from the Fixx and the Call, two of the '80s most consistent and often-overlooked new wave outfits. The collection starts out strong with three of the Fixx's -- and the '80s -- best singles, "One Thing Leads to Another," "Are We Ourselves," and "Secret Separation," all of which capture the angular immediacy of the band's definitive work. "Shut It Out" reflects the less-effective hard rock direction the Fixx pursued, but "Don't Be Scared" comes closer to the mark. Neither of these songs, however, really rank among the Fixx's best; it's too bad that this album didn't include "Saved by Zero," "Sunshine in the Shade," "The Sign of Fire," "Red Skies," or any of their other greatest hits instead. The Call's contributions include two of their biggest singles, "The Walls Came Down" and "Let the Day Begin"; while "You Run," "Scene Beyond Dreams," and "What's Happened to You" aren't some of the band's first-rate songs, they're enjoyable enough. Even though the Call and the Fixx's heydays were a few years apart, the groups' alternately shimmering and biting guitars and sharp songwriting complement each other well, which makes this Winning Combinations actually live up to its title. Of course, this collection doesn't feature enough from either band to do the Fixx or the Call's body of work justice, but it does offer a few of the biggest hits from each, which may be enough for the most casual fans.

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