Everything and More

by: Naked Eyes

One Way's Everything & More is a godsend for Naked Eyes collectors and serious synth pop fans, since it rounds up all the non-LP tracks, 12" mixes, early singles, and other rarities that the duo released (along with a couple of album tracks from Fuel for the Fire). This also includes singles the band made when it was called Neon, as well as two previously unreleased mixes of the great "Promises Promises" produced by Jellybean Benitez and featuring his then-girlfriend, Madonna, on brief recitation vocals. The rarity of this material would make it necessary for collectors, but it plays to more than just Naked Eyes fanatics because the music is so good. The duo was better than its peers, with a rich yet nimble sound, a good vocalist in Pete Byrne, and strong songwriting skills, all of which add up to one of the most consistently enjoyable catalogs in synth pop. Even better, its songs lend themselves to the kind of elastic remixes that populated the 12" singles of the time, particularly when they were produced by such talents as Jellybean, Arthur Baker, and Tony Mansfield. These mixes provide the opening of the disc, before it gives way to the B-sides and album tracks, then wraps up with the Neon selections, all transferred from vinyl. These are all charming, lo-fi electronic blueprints of the Naked Eyes sound -- melodic and warm electronic pop, thoroughly winning and a very nice way to wrap up a first-rate compilation. Another nice thing about the compilation? The track-by-track notes by Pete Byrne, complete with a fond farewell to his partner, the late Rob Fisher. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine

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