The Very Best Things (1995-2008)
REVIEW BY: Vish Iyer
ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED: 03/19/2009
The Very Best Things is not that different from any other Filter record, with its mixed styles: knockout rockers (“Hey Man Nice Shot,” “Welcome To The Fold,” “One”), euphonious ballads (“Take A Picture,” “Soldiers Of Misfortune,” “Where Do We Go From Here”), and trippy foot-tappers (“(Can’t You) Trip Like I Do,” “The Best Things”). And since the songs are not arranged chronologically, the mix acts more as a complete record with conflated moods than as a collection of songs defining each era of the band’s career.
As an industrial act, Filter was always different from the rest of the bunch. Their music was never completely doused in the morose; though not cloyingly upbeat, Filter is an accessible (yet genuine) alternative to other hardcore industrial acts.
With the liberty of trying anything out as long as it turns out into a radio-friendly catchy number, the band has enjoyed the freedom to pursue contrastive avenues on their records. Thereupon, Filter is probably the only act in their genre to use the acoustic guitar and cheesy dance beats so liberally alongside heavy menacing guitars.
Filter’s lifespan of thirteen years has seen them release just four albums, which sounds paltry, but still makes for a strong compilation album. Much like the studio albums they are culled from, the singles from these discs constitute a diverse bunch of songs. Although this collection has left out singles that didn’t do quite as well in the charts, what’s good is that also included are the four non-album cuts that are featured on soundtrack albums, even though some of them – like “Thanks Bro” – didn’t make it to the charts, or are even singles for that matter. Also, remixes (which are pointless to begin with, and of which the band has one whole album) have been wisely omitted here.
Since there isn’t a non-album song excluded from this anthology, this might not be a bad recommendation for fans of the band. In addition, three of the album cuts, “Welcome To The Fold,” “Take A Picture” and “Where Do We Go From Here,” are non-album single edits.
And for those trying the band out for the very first time, a word of caution: once you hear The Very Best Things, you will be hard-pressed not to further invest in Filter’s entire catalog.