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Album doesn't represent all years

July 1, 2004

As an 8-year-old in 1990, I was still dumb enough to swallow my chewing gum, but I was certainly smart enough to know which music was hip and which music was so 1989.

Hence, it will likely come as a surprise to many when they see several blatantly recognizable omissions on the recent CD compilation "Vh1: I Love the 90s," which is meant to be a precursor to the series of the same name debuting on the music cable channel on July 12.

It's not to say the CD, a 14-track orgy of all-things '90s, leaves a worse taste in one's mouth than Crystal Clear Pepsi. But Deee-Lite's 1990 smash "Groove is in the Heart" clearly could have replaced En Vogue's "My Lovin' (You're Never Gonna Get It)"; even Vanilla Ice's guilty pleasure "Ice Ice Baby" could have easily bumped the Spice Girls off this collection.

The music selection is adequate - and nothing more - with tracks from most of the decade's years, although most songs are of the dance variety.

Kicking things off is the classic Naughty By Nature anthem "O.P.P." Other booty shakin' ditties on the album include: Tag Team's "Whoomp! (There it is)," House of Pain's 1992 hit "Jump Around" and Hanson's "MMMBop" - hey, I came from a boring hometown, all right?

But perhaps the most booty-tacular song of all-time is missing in action. from Sir Mix-A-Lot's 1992 'Ode to the Rump', "Baby Got Back."

I realize Mix-A-Lot lost some credibility with 1996's flop album "Return of the Bumpasaurus," but Vh1 should've shown some love to America's pioneering bootyologist.

And whenever things on the compilation, which also features songs from Chumbawamba and Los Del Rio, seem to finally start rolling along nicely, one can usually find something to ruin the mood. For example, apparently nothing good in music happened in 1990 and 1994 as neither year is represented on the album.

It's somewhat surprising in that similar television series, such as "I Love the 80s" and "I Love the 70s," each year of the featured decade is given its own hour-long show, but the accompanying CD doesn't have at least one song from each year.

Once again, Deee-Lite or Vanilla Ice would have been a safe 1990 choice and for 1994, how about Boyz II Men or Sheryl Crow?

Then there's the whole grunge movement thing.

The liner notes state Collective Soul" pushed the grunge movement forward," hence the appearance of the group's single "Shine" on the album.

Perhaps that is the case, perhaps not. But why isn't Nirvana on this album? I know Nirvana was just a flash in the pan, but come on …

Going back to the liner notes, they are a little disappointing. The booklet could have been more thorough on the key events of 1990-99.

That's not to say there should be mug shots of Mo Rocca and Hal Sparks saying witty things such as, "I'm too sexy for this booklet," (OK, so that wasn't so witty, but you catch my drift) but there really should be more than just a blip for every year on the tri-fold.

Overall, the album presents listeners with a decent hodge-podge of '90s tracks and makes one yearn for the days of inflating their Reebok pumps until white powder came out of the little basketball, or the days when Lou Bega's "Mambo No. 5" was played every hour on the hour at each major U.S. radio station, but either a lengthier CD or a more diverse selection of music could have benefited the album.

If you liked this, check out: Digging out your Kris Kross poster from the basement.

Suggested listening: With your baseball cap sideways and baggy pants on backwards.

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