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The Collection: Alisha's Attic

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Album Review

Sisters Karen and Shellie Poole, aka Alisha's Attic, dominated the airwaves of the late '90s with their brand of kooky melodic pop. Scoring a respectable eight Top 40 hits, they never troubled the Top Ten, but came agonizingly close several times with five of their singles charting between number 12 and number 14. The Collection includes all these hits for the first time, but released without the girls' consent, it's not exactly a labor of love. The problem with compiling a "best of" for an act who have only released three albums is that it usually requires a lot of padding. But instead of carefully choosing bonus material, its makers have bizarrely decided to thrown in two rather unremarkable live performances, three pointless remixes, and three completely random album tracks, none of which were particular standouts in the first place. And it's this hodgepodge of songs, arbitrarily placed throughout The Collection, that interrupts the flow of their much more accomplished work. The run of singles from their Dave Stewart-produced debut album Alisha Rules the World are pretty much faultless. The empowering Alanis-esque guitar pop of its title track and "I Am, I Feel" still sounds fresh today; the shimmering electronica of "Indestructible" wouldn't sound out of place on Madonna's Ray of Light; while "The Air We Breathe" showcases the duo's light, breezy harmonies that would become their trademark. Album number two, Illumina, signalled a more introspective and darker direction but without as much success. The subtle acoustics and sweeping strings of "The Incidentals" is arguably the best thing they've done, but the clever pre-millennium tension theme of "Barbarella" can't disguise the rather non-descript song and "Wish I Were You" sounded like a group just going through the motions. Third album, The House We Built, sounded like a band reinvigorated, even though it turned out to be their swan song. The playful "Push It All Aside," with its blues guitar and skittering percussion, is irresistibly catchy, while the epic "Pretender Got My Heart," taken from the Bridget Jones soundtrack, is a glorious pastiche of Dusty Springfield-style '60s pop. For the casual fan wanting all the singles, The Collection will do, but anyone wanting the bigger picture will be frustrated by its cobbled together track listing. ~ Jon O'Brien, Rovi

Customer Reviews

alishas attic the collection

very good music for driving when will more albums be released

MORE!!!

Great songs... anybody know if they're ever gonna release again, or if they're even still together?!

Alisha's Attic/ Shelly Poole

Alisha's Attic have sadly split up but Shelly Poole, the dark haired sister has brought out a solo album, it's excellent & is available on i tunes .... It's called 'Hard Time For The Dreamer' It's the best album ive heard for ages, Shelly's voice is just amazing ........

Biography

Genre: Pop

Years Active: '90s

Sisters Karen and Shellie Poole grew up in England's Essex County loving music. With aspirations to join the world of pop, the sisters began writing quirky, playful music and dubbed themselves Alisha's Attic, a reference to a fictional character they had imagined that was one-part Karen, one-part Shellie. A homemade demo of their Prince-meets-Kate Bush music was sent to the Mercury label and soon their dreams were becoming reality. Sessions with various producers were abandoned, but the talented...
Full bio
The Collection: Alisha's Attic, Alisha's Attic
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