Greatest Hits

Greatest Hits

5.0 1
by Better Than Ezra
     
 

Better Than Ezra were one of a handful of bands that were caught between the chasm of legit post-Nirvana alt-rock and the legions of commercially minded post-grungers of the mid-'90s. Truth be told, they never seemed to fully belong to the indie-bred aesthetic of '90s alt-rock, not even in the way that the GinSee more details below

Overview

Better Than Ezra were one of a handful of bands that were caught between the chasm of legit post-Nirvana alt-rock and the legions of commercially minded post-grungers of the mid-'90s. Truth be told, they never seemed to fully belong to the indie-bred aesthetic of '90s alt-rock, not even in the way that the Gin Blossoms were a clear outgrowth of jangle pop -- they were just a guitar rock band who rode the post-grunge wave to the top of the modern rock charts in 1995 with "Good," and then had several other radio and MTV hits over the next five years, highlighted by "King of New Orleans," "In the Blood," "Rosealia," and "Desperately Wanting." One thing Ezra shared with most '90s bands was their keen sense of earnestness -- they really meant it, man, and that po-faced sincerity meant that their music could sometime seem generic, something that Elektra/Rhino's 2005 career overview, Greatest Hits, confirms. Apart from the aforementioned singles -- all available here in their radio-ready single versions, thankfully, which includes a handful of single remixes -- they didn't really craft memorable hooks, and whenever they did, their hooks were ingratiating, not immediate. So, even the band's biggest hits -- and all the charting hits are here, along with key album tracks, two rare mixes, and an unreleased cover of James' "Laid" -- are tunes that gradually work their way into memory instead of asserting themselves upon the first spin, a problem compounded by their sonic similarity. In the fine track-by-track liner notes in Greatest Hits, singer/songwriter/guitarist Kevin Griffin notes that "Misunderstood" is "yet another song with G, D, E minor, C" chords, and while his self-depreciating humor is refreshing on paper, the songs fall victim to sounding too samey -- they may not all have the same exact chord progression (although many do, including their biggest and best song, "Good"), but they are all cut from the same cloth, and it makes listening to 16 tracks from their five albums a little much for anybody who isn't already a fan; this is a time that an old-fashioned eight-to-ten-track Greatest Hits would have been welcome. That said, even if Better Than Ezra's music is rarely gripping, the band is likeable -- partially due to that sincerity that also sinks them -- which may be enough for those looking for a trip back to the late '90s, since this Greatest Hits does capture the rather rudderless sound of the post-grunge modern rock of that era quite well.

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Product Details

Release Date:
03/15/2005
Label:
Elektra / Wea
UPC:
0081227950224
catalogNumber:
79502
Rank:
69437

Tracks

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Album Credits

Performance Credits

Better Than Ezra   Primary Artist
Travis Aaron McNabb   Percussion,Drums,Beat Box,Optigan,VCS 3 Synthesizer,Group Member
Tom Drummond   Synthesizer,Bass,Pedals,VCS 3 Synthesizer,Group Member
James Arthur Payne   Piano,fender rhodes
Cary Bonnecaze   Drums,Vocals

Technical Credits

John Kirkpatrick   Producer
Karl Berger   String Arrangements
Tim Booth   Composer
Malcolm Burn   Producer,Engineer,Audio Production
Joe Gastwirt   Mastering
Don Gehman   Producer,Engineer
Jim Glennie   Composer
Kevin Griffin   Composer
Travis Aaron McNabb   Liner Notes
Sylvia Rhone   Producer
Don Was   Executive Soundtrack Producer
Brad Wood   Producer,Engineer
Better Than Ezra   Audio Production
Dan Rothchild   Producer,Engineer,Audio Production
Tom Drummond   Liner Notes
Saul Davies   Composer
Andy Diagram   Composer
Ethan Allen   Producer,Engineer
James Gott   Composer
David Baynton-Power   Composer
John Nelson   Engineer
Bruce Barielle   Mastering

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