Best of 2K2

AS ONE year comes to an end, paving way for another, it is the time to rewind our memories of last year, with regard to music. Many new artistes came, both solo and groups, a couple of comebacks, some commemorations, and a few new genres of music as well. The international music scene witnessed a positive trend with new bands coming into the fray, especially modern rock bands and boy-bands. A handful of solo female artistes scored well with more mature albums this year. If this sums up the year gone past, a couple of compilation albums attempt to give us just that, in a nutshell.

Totally Hits 2 (Virgin Music, Rs.125), the second album in the series, features 16 of the most successful and popular songs which made it big in the recent times. What's interesting is the mix of genres ranging from Alternative Rock to dance anthems — the album features "In My Place" by Coldplay and Kylie Minogue's "Love At First Sight" side-by-side, apart from Moby's "Extreme Ways", Lenny Kravitz's "If I could Fall In Love" and Norah Jones's"Come away With Me". By the way, it is interesting to know that Norah happens to be the daughter of Ravi Shankar, the sitar maestro.

Side 1 of the album seems to focus on pop and dance tracks - the infectious and sweet "Tide Is High" from Atomic Kitten, "AM To PM" from Christina Milian, "Boys" from Britney Spears and more. Surprisingly, the flip side has a tint of modern rock and heavy metal and features Moby, Coldplay, the not-so-popular "The Vines" with "Get Free" and "Direct" with "Inside My Head". It is rockish all the way on side 2, except for the last track, "World Of Our Own" by Westlife. Sounds stupid? Sure does! No rock fan is going to like that. Probably, the record label wanted to start the album with a boy-band, ("Best In Me" by Blue) — and end it with one as well.

Another compilation album called Hits @ FM (Universal Music, Rs. 125) is all set to give the former one, a run for its money. As the title suggests, the 16 tracks of the album are supposed to have been handpicked after consulting the various FM stations like Radio Mirchi, Go!, Radio City, Indigo FM, and the rest.

Kicking off with "If Tomorrow Never Comes" (Ronan Keating), this album features the more popular hits of the year such as "Escape" (Enrique Iglesias), "On The Radio" (Nelly Furtado), "Soak Up The Sun" (Sheryl Crow), and many others. A handful of dance tracks are thrown in as well. "Murder On The Dancefloor" by Sophie Ellis Bextor, "Baya Baya" by Safri `percussion' Duo and "Don't Say Goodbye" by Pauline Rubio. The other artistes featured are Ashanti Douglas ("Foolish"), David Charvet ("Leap Of Faith"), and Counting Crows ("American Girls") apart from Elton John ("Original Sin") and Bro' Sis ("I Believe").

If you are the kind who prefers popular music "Hits @ FM" is the album from you — but if you are more specifically into Modern Rock, Totally Hits 2 will impress you better. But between these two albums, we have almost all the international hits of 2002 covered.

Happy New Year — and let the party begin!