MINISTRY OF SOUND
Could this be the best Ministry of Sound compilation ever assembled? Sixty tracks over three CDs, and nary a duff one among them. There are no cheesy Footloose or Flashdance hits here — this is all top-shelf electronic ’80s pop, from the ubiquitous (Devo’s infectious Whip It) to the unfairly forgotten (Deborah Harry’s divine French Kissin’ in the USA). Tears For Fears, Pet Shop Boys, Bronski Beat, Yazoo. If you love ’80s pop, you need this compilation.
INTERPRETING THE MASTERS
THE BIRD AND THE BEE
This is something of a curveball: electro-pop duo Greg Kurstin and Inara George release their first covers album, made up entirely of Hall & Oates songs — and one original, Heard it On The Radio, about how they love to listen to Hall & Oates. The stripped-down arrangements and George’s breathy vocals sometimes make the songs sound a little anemic, and the Volume 1 in the title does make you nervous (just how many cheesy ’80s songwriting duos do they plan to resurrect?) but it’s still a pleasing diversion for Bird and the Bee fans.