Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|Better Than Ezra|
Genres: Dance & Electronic, Alternative Rock, Pop, Rock, Classic Rock
A sweet, catchy gem of an album, Closer corrals Better Than Ezra's multitude of influences and styles into a memorable whole. While the title track sounds as if it might be an outtake from Live (not a bad thing!), the lush... more »
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A sweet, catchy gem of an album, Closer corrals Better Than Ezra's multitude of influences and styles into a memorable whole. While the title track sounds as if it might be an outtake from Live (not a bad thing!), the lush tune, with string arrangements by David Campbell, showcases singer-guitarist Kevin Griffin's bittersweet vocals, making for a standout in an album full of strong songs. Personal, poignant lyrics are paired with spare, lovely musicality on "A Lifetime," while the funky "Recognize," with slide guitar and guest DJ Swamp, is a departure, but it works, as does the hip-pop, almost-novelty "Extra Ordinary." With Closer, BTE come across as a more sophisticated, adult contemporary version of Sugar Ray (the New Orleans-bred trio), moving seamlessly among light modern rock-pop styles, deftly capturing and illuminating emotions in an earnest, but never cloying, manner. --Katherine Turman
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They just keep getting better
A. Seuthe | United States | 08/08/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Better Than Ezra's last album "How Does Your Garden Grow?" was dramatically experimental, and though it had its flaws it was a solid album. On their newest effort, BTE continues to experiment with the synthetic elements of rock, but to a lesser degree. This album seems to find a comfortable middle ground between their first two alternative-rock driven albums, and their unexpected third. The result is a fantastic album, from a band that continues to get better and still amaze this long time fan. Kevin Griffin's songwriting continues to mature. On other albums, he tended to write songs that could be construed as overly emotional or sentimental, but the songs on this album are more subtle. The stand-out tracks on this album include the light-hearted and well-intended love song "Extra Ordinary", the character study of a struggling actress in the song "Misunderstood", and the pop-driven reluctant 'let's get back together anyway' song "Sincerely Me." And in true Better Than Ezra form, there's the title-track surging ballad "Closer." The songs are really well-written and produced, and show that the group is a far more capable outfit than it was three albums ago. Most every track on ths album is listenable, and there's a good chance that at least a couple will become your favorites. The group also brought in Beck's mixer, DJ Swamp on a couple of the tracks- "Extra Ordinary" and "Recognize." The first of the two efforts is successful, even though it sounds like a Bare Naked Ladies ditty, which is ironic because they referece the group in their lyrics. The latter effort is the worst track on the album. The mixes on both are quality, but "Recognize" really sounds like the group is trying too hard to sound different and nail a style, that works well for Beck, but doesn't quite for them. I gave this album five stars because it drew me in on the first listen and I've been listening to it for days non-stop ever since. If you've missed out on their latest efforts, and haven't been a active fan of the group since their first hit single "Good," this is a good album to get reacquainted with the band. It's an awesome album, from a band that continues to evolve."
You cant hate on this cd
Rob Eberhardt | Austin, TX | 08/09/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"'Closer' is BTE's first album to come out since How Does Your Garden Grow in 1998(not counting the B-Sides of Artifakt). All I have to say is I love this album. I have been a fan of these 3 guys for a long time, and just to hear them evolve is so great. The first hit single 'Extraordinary' is a fun and catchy song that you have to like. There is a little bit of everything on this....'Juarez' is a great driving song, real laid back, Misunderstood and Lifetime are absolutely fabulous songs. Other tracks include Briefly, Rolling, Recognize,Get You In, Sincerely Me. I have to say my favorite two songs are 'I do' which is just a very fun, catchy song...and Closer, the title track of the album, which is a very deep and personal song from the lead singer Kevin Griffin. Now that BTE has a label that will actually support them, they might be able to vault back into mainstream music. Overall, this cd is a must have....its the distinct sound of Better Than Ezra, but it is definitely a different sound from past albums such as HDYGG and Friction, Baby."
Jeans Yoder | Yoder, KS | 06/15/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Some people may have wondered if "How Does Your Garden Grow" was the end to this band. If that would be the case, then there wouldn't be "Closer" and there wouldn't be the band's best album to show for it."Closer" is different from the other albums from the fact that it is not from the Elektra label. Beyond Records allowed them to be more expressive, and less experimental in this album, and it greatly shows. Unfortunately for BTE, Beyond went bankrupt. However, "Closer" is a masterpiece."Misunderstood" is a nice start. I don't know if it was a single b/c I never heard it on the radio or saw a video, it has that quality of a single. Kevin Griffin's voice is absolutely great in this song, and is a good thing, b/c it carries through the rest of the songs as well.Now "Extra Ordinary" which was the the first single, wouldn't be something a BTE fan would think would be the best choice for a single, but it obviously does fit the criteria. Not too long, quick and poppy, energetic, and has a nice chorus. It's the song that attracted possible new fans and gave hope to the old ones knowing that they are once again making great music.The album slows down w/ the title track "Closer" which is damn new perfect. I don't know how they did it, but this song couldn't be written, sung, and played any better. It's a song that gets better every time you listen to it. I sometimes wonder if they spent much time on this song in the studios, b/c it's flawless. Absolutely a beautiful song.I don't know why, but "Rolling" just makes you happy. It features Toddy who has a nice voice who sings along in the chorus and other parts. It's a nice short happy song.Perhaps "A Lifetime" is a more personal song to someone on the band, but it's still good. The strings add flavor. It's probably the closest song that resembles HDYGG songs, but would be the best on that album. I think meanings can come out of this song. DJ Swamp is featured on "Recognize." I've never heard a BTE song like this before. It's almost has some kind of country rock beat to it w/ a touch of hip hop. It's an odd mix, but plays out nicely I think."Sincerly, Me" gradually picks up from the beginning to end. Maybe that's why I like it. Along w/ a nice lyrically story, catchy tune, and pretty good guitar solo, this song ranks as one of the best on the album.Another slow break comes w/ "Get You In." There's nothing too great w/ this song in terms of the lyrics. But the music allows the words to be more than what they are on paper. Good song.My favorite song is "Briefly." I love it to death almost. It has a awesome sound to it, and is sung w/ much emotion. The words are meaningful as well. There's just something about this song that touches me in a way that other songs dont.Another song that sounds like something off HDYGG is "Juarez." Even though it is my least favorite on the album, it's a nice musical piece. More of an instrumental than a song, it seems like something you would listen to on a tropical island soaking back sippin' your martini.An excellent ending comes w/ "I Do." Sort of like a credits song you hear at the end of a movie. A happy fun song that has a positive attitude. Closer is by far the best album BTE has to date musically. Even though Friction, Baby and Deluxe may have sold more, Closer is by far the best. I just hope that they will cut a deal w/ a label and come out w/ great songs like the ones here. I reccommend this album to any pop/rock fan out there."