I came across this during my weekly comic book run (BTW, The Authority #25 is R0X0R) and immediately went for it. Risotto was one of my favorite albums of 1997, but I never got a chance to explore the rest of their catalogue because of staggering import prices. (By the time 1997 rolled around, I was no longer cool with paying $27 for a CD I didn't already know.)
Finding this disc is something of a gold mine for me. This disc stretches back to the group's beginnings in 1991, with mixes of all of their singles. The opening track, "Thumper" is the lone new track and is a self-conscious throwback to their earlier style; I had no idea the song was written in 2001 until I read the liner notes. One thing this collection highlights is Fluke's mastery of the mid-tempo dancefloor-filler. Each of these tracks proudly straddle the mid-tempo point of their time, flaunting their trancey thumps and smooth hooks. The tempos subtly accelerate as the collection moves on, as well, leading to the blissed-out euphoric jam "Squirt".
The main criticism I can make of this album is that it's a little too homogenous. On the first few listens, many of the unfmiliar songs blend into each other in a pleasing-yet-anonymous mash of sound. I know that the group is capable of stretching themselves; "Squirt" is perhaps the most distinctive single they released and is just one of several songs from the excellent Risotto that I wish had been included here. (A remix of "Setback" in particular would have been nice.) I'm glad I bought this, but based on their earlier material, I'm glad I refrained from paying import prices for those older albums. I still want them, but not as badly as I did before.
DAN'S RATING: GRR-OKAY(I really need to find a mildly positive word that begins with "gr". Suggestions?)