Features | Awards

The WebMd Award for the Only Anthology to Single-Handedly Get You Through Flu Season, Sans Sniffles

By Kaylen Hann | 9 December 2010

Orange Juice
Coals to Newcastle
(Domino; 2010)

Crank up that HEALTH all you want, but when push comes to shove, and when that lady’s kid on the bus starts licking the windows and wiping his rosy-hued nose on the railings, there’s nothing you’re going to want to pick up more than this six-disc anthology. (Well, and maybe a flu shot.)

With enough Orange Juice for a Vitamin C overdose, the Coals to Newcastle collection is just about one hundred and thirty tracks that’ll not only keep you from being “that [guy/girl] who won’t stop sneezing during the movie,” it’ll prevent you from ducking out of your job and wasting your accrued vacation days. It’s the only anthology that has a shot at boosting your immunity, street cred with that cool barista, and even your NYE dance party mixtape in one fell swoop. Go on—put “Rip It Up” on a dance mix and see if some late-‘70s/‘80s-phile isn’t grindin’ all up on you faster than you can flash a dreamy, lopsided Edwyn Collins smile.

Chock full of previously unreleased mixes, limited edition cassettes, songs yanked from flexi-discs—what the hell is a “flexi-disc”?—six discs may seem like an awful lot to digest at first. While I suggest taking it a disc at a time, if you can’t help consuming it all in one (very long) sitting, I couldn’t blame you. Like vitamin C proper: there’s no real downside to overdosing on these hook-heavy, charisma-saturated tracks. It certainly won’t hurt. If not enough to keep you out of the clinic, the bouncy sentiments, savvy guitars, and upbeat verve will at least see you through the bulk of the Seasonal Affective Disorder slough without too much sniffling. Even the unrequited love songs are perked up with soul- and disco-infused, excited fizz- and grin-inducing, pop-polished glam.

If you don’t already know Orange Juice (and you aren’t holding out to the bitter end for the vinyls)—well, you’ll just have to trust us. This shit’s seriously good for you. And it’s a hell of a time to take your rotten, hum-drum 2010 moments, rip them up, and give yourself a fresh start to 2011.