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My Favorite

The Happiest Days of Our Lives
Double Agent

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While everything associated with the '80s is in again, for some musicians, the decade never went out of style. Case in point: New York-based retro-futurists My Favorite. During the early '90s, bucking the grunge trend, the band decided instead to focus on creating synth-pop tunes awash in all the cinematic and aesthetic nostalgia of the John Hughes films of their youths. One can almost envision pouty-faced Molly Ringwald lamenting her various woes to a My Favorite-composed soundtrack. And now, two decades since the Brat Pack grew up and one since the band began, My Favorite has finally found itself at the top of the '80's revivalist heap.

 

The Happiest Days of Our Lives: The Complete Joan of Arc Tapes is yet another dose of true-to-form '80s sensibilities. My Favorite's Human League-meets-New Order offerings are apparent in aptly titled songs such as "The Suburbs Are Killing Us" and "Le Monster." But unlike those bands who merely try to imitate the Reagan era, My Favorite lives it. In the days of TiVo and on-demand cable it's not difficult to imagine the members of My Favorite still playing Space Invaders and watching episodes of Facts of Life.

 

Definitely offering more bang for your buck, the album is a lengthy hour and four minutes and also includes a bonus CD of the tracks remixed and reworked by such new-wave luminaries as Future Bible Heroes and Soviet.

 

A tried-and-true test of musical integrity is what can be brought back for a second helping years later without creating cringe-inducing sensations. Luckily for My Favorite, its wax nostalgic on the '80s has been effortlessly pulled off. It almost makes you yearn for a game of Oregon Trail on the old Apple IIe -- and maybe a strawberry fruit roll-up.

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