Greatest Hits

Better Than Ezra

Elektra, 2005

http://www.betterthanezra.com

REVIEW BY: Benjamin Ray

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED: 08/16/2014

Part of the slew of post-grunge alternative rock bands that hit in the mid ‘90s, Better Than Ezra did little to distinguish themselves from the pack outside of their hit song, "Good." They went on to make three more studio albums and an Internet only rarities release prior to this compilation, and while calling it "greatest hits" is kind of a stretch, it does round up everything that non-Ezralites need.nbtc__dv_250

All of the band's charting singles are here in non-chronological order, and four of the five songs from the debut Deluxe are present in different mixes, though this isn't really of concern to anyone outside the faithful. The original "Good" is here, and although it was never a great song to begin with outside of its catchy vocal hook, it is part of the fabric of the time. Far better is "In The Blood," present here in its more effective single mix and a fine slice of alternative rock.

The trio had a few very minor radio and MTV hits from this and the follow-up album Friction, Baby, but their following quickly fell off in the latter half of the decade as listeners turned to new genres. As expected, slight electronic and hip-hop influences were added to the mix to keep up with the times, and the album had its moments, especially "One More Murder." The 2001 hit "Extra Ordinary" from Closer took the hip hop influence even further and fits in nicely with the "college rock" of the time; it is fun, inoffensive and sounds nothing like "Good."

And that facelessness is the problem with Better Than Ezra as a whole; the majority of their catalog, and this collection, is how utterly generic most of it is. Trimmed by about five songs, this could have been a good sampler of the band's few shining moments, but its length will not spur the listener on to check out the full-length albums. However, for '90s obsessives who are trying to track down those minor hits, or who really liked "Good" and need to hear more of the story, this is a fine compilation that leaves nothing out.

Rating: C-

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