Don't Kill The Magic
Isolate and Medicate
There's arguably no such thing as a perfect "best of" album; the bigger the band's catalog, the more squabbling there's likely to be over which tracks should or shouldn't have been included. However the better compilations are the ones that try to appeal to both casual and longtime fans equally, which is usually accomplished by providing new material for those who already have most of the band's albums. The standard method is to include a handful of new songs or b-sides, while another is to offer remixes, edits or alternate versions of songs that differ from the ones on the albums. Top Contenders gets points for both: it not only includes three new songs, but the rest have all been newly remixed. This gives them a more uniform sound throughout, but fans also interested in the production side of music may enjoy comparing the new mixes to the original ones - with some songs the differences are more subtle, while others sound as if they were completely re-recorded. It's an interesting perk that longtime fans should enjoy checking out, and for new fans, the 26 songs here should get you more than acquainted with Strung Out.