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Shakra - '33: The Best Of Shakra' http://www.rocktopia.co.uk/media/reviews/photos/thumbnail/200x200s/2f/d6/ac/33-24-1405716910.jpg Hot

Added by Franco     July 18, 2014    
 
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All in all one of the better compilations I've seen.

To be completely honest, as a rule I don't like "best of" or "greatest hits" albums. Most of the time they aren't or churn out the same tracks repeatedly and really it's just a way for the record company to make a little bit extra from a band's back catalogue (also news just filtered through that Shakra vocalist John Prakesh has left the band, so maybe that's why this is being released?). All that said, I have to say that Shakra's '33' is not only full of great music but is also excellent value for money.

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Thirty of the songs are taken from the band's nine studio and two live albums and they are spread over two "full to bursting" discs. A couple of the tracks have been re-mixed but on the whole each song is as it was on the original releases, which I think is a good thing. Working backwards from track one, which hails from the band's last release 'Back On Track' to number thirty-three from their debut album 'Shakra' is a clever way to introduce newcomers to the band's musical history. Squeezing in three brand new songs right at the start the first disc helps to keep established fans entertained as well.

I'll start things off with new tracks 'Live For Today', 'The Beach' and 'For The Rest Of My Days' which all sound like classic Shakra to my ears. Punchy guitar riffs abound and Prakesh's vocals compliment the songs wonderfully, whilst original band mates Thom Blunier, Thomas Munster and Roger Tanner play out of their skins to bring the best out of each of the new songs. This dedication and fire that the band bring to each of the songs can be found throughout the other thirty cuts and given there are so many great selections to choose from, I'll just pick out a few of my favourites that I would suggest you look out for. These include 'My Enemy', 'Life Is Now', 'Playing With Fire', 'The One', 'Inferno', 'Take Me Now', 'Rising High', 'Stranger' and 'Yesterday's Gone'. Of course a lot of songs I think should be on this release aren't there but it's all subjective isn't it?
Summing up I have to say that if your new to the band and have a hankering for quality Hard Rock, then giving '33' a try is a no brainer. Long time fans will have to weigh up if three new tracks are worth the investment, personally I think they are, but it's your choice as always. All in all one of the better compilations I've seen.

Ian Johnson

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