With their British Invasion style of rock, New Jersey's the Smithereens weren't exactly in step with the musical landscape of the mid- to late '80s. It didn't stop the quartet from being critical darlings and perennial candidates to break through to a wider audience. Blown to Smithereens gathers together ample evidence that the attention was more than merited. There's nary a weak moment on this collection, which includes all of the band's best-known songs and radio hits. Sequenced chronologically, Blown to Smithereens leads off with the Beatlesque "Beauty & Sadness" and proceeds with gems like the moody "Blood & Roses," "In a Lonely Place" (with its Bacharach vibe), the driving "House We Used to Live In," the sweet, melodic "Blue Period," and closes with a cover of "Time Won't Let Me." Pat DiNizio's often bittersweet, romantic lyrics compliment the polished, yet gritty, power pop resulting in timeless songs like "Behind the Wall of Sleep," "Only a Memory," and "A Girl Like You." For the uninitiated, Blown to Smithereens is a perfect introduction. For fans, it isn't necessarily essential, but rather a wonderful opportunity to revisit one of the more underappreciated bands of the past two decades.