CD Review: The Donnas

Greatest Hits Vol. 16 (Purple Feather)

This California foursome formed in 1993 and released the first of their seven albums in 1997. So, hard as it is to believe, they now have more than enough material for a greatest-hits record. The album is a combination of previously released songs like "Perfect Stranger" and "Get Off," live versions of "Take It Off" and "Fall Behind Me," a few remixes that pretty much sound like the originals, and a handful of unreleased tracks and b-sides. "I Don't Wanna Break Your Head" and "Teenage Rules," two previously unreleased tracks, sound like they were recorded in a basement in 1993. While it's interesting to hear the evolution of a band that's clearly influenced other female acts (think the Veronicas, Meg & Dia, Paramore), it's a bit unnecessary to issue scratchy demos that aren't worth listening to more than once and call them "hits." Greatest Hits isn't exactly the right title for this collection, because the Donnas' best-known singles are missing. But unearthing part of a band's archeology is always worthwhile for fans. — Emily Zemler

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