So the title is throwing you off huh? This is not a greatest hits package, it is a scrapbook of the first 16 years (all ready?!!?) that the Donnas have been together. It gathers unreleased B-sides, live cuts of their better tunes, remix’s, 2009 versions of older jams, and even new material; it is a hodgepodge effort all around. The earlier punk material which were the strongest releases from the group (“Hey, I’m Gonna Be Your Girl”, “Get Rid of That Girl”) feel out of place as the foursome have morphed into the 2009 female version of Judas Priest with their newest tracks “Get Off” and “Perfect Stranger”. While they are dealing with fucking and not wanting to fall in love, they completely traded their poppy punk for guitar solos and Glam. Today they are closer to starring in Rock of Ages on Broadway then reopening CBGB’s on the Bowery.
If anything this collection reminds you just how fun the early Donnas could get, “I don’t want to grow up well/I just want my Taco Bell” must still make Joey Ramone proud up in heaven. The ladies live material doesn’t translate all that well, better versions of “Take It Off” can be found on Youtube, but some of the newer recorded/old material grows up a bit, like the sultry run through of “Get You Alone”. One major issue is that the vocals still haven’t improved and this (along with a lack of fun) is the main thing holding back the newer material. When you’re copying The Ramones you can get away with thin singing, not so much when you cop Def Leppard and Poison, say what you want about hair metal, but those front men had pipes.
In the end this release boils down to a glorified EP with a shitload of bonus tracks and should be treated as such, that said; it will be interesting to see what they are writing about on their next release, marriage?!?!