Amy K. (gnatclapper) from SKILLMAN, NJ Reviewed on 7/1/2007...
Some pretty good songs. It stands out as one of the better pop albums from the mid-90s.
Mark M. (bvilleborn) from NASHVILLE, TN Reviewed on 8/7/2006...
First major label release for these guys. Still holds up today.
How good are they? Well, they're Better Than Ezra.....
Will Culp | Greenville, South Carolina | 08/04/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Deluxe(1995). Better Than Ezra's First LP Album.
Around 1995, when bands like Green Day and Hootie & The Blowfish were enjoying Multi-Platinum success, Better Than Ezra combined the two bands, adding influences of Rock, Punk, and Roots/Country/Blues and released 'Deluxe'. As said before, Better Than Ezra sounds like a cross between Hootie & The Blowfish and Green Day, or maybe a softer version of modern rockers 3 Doors Down. Upon its release, 'Deluxe' garnered good critical and commercial success, and even spawned the popular song 'Good', which easily gave 'Deluxe' over a 1,000,000 copies sold in its first year. After reading a favorable review of 'How Does Your Garden Grow?' by the wickerman, and I saw the CD at a Library, I decided to give the album a chance. So, was I pleasantly surprised, or officially disgusted? Read on to find out!
In The Blood- "In The Blood" features a southern tinged acoustic riff along with touching vocals from Joel Rundell to create a jazzy Southern Rocker. An excellent, catchy song that will catch your attention and hold it!
Good- "Good" deservedly became a big hit! It starts off much like Green Day's "When I Come Around", accentuating the bass along with a catchy, punky riff that perfectly complements Rundell's slightly bluesy vocals to make a catchy, poppy rocker that flat out rules. "Good" guitarwork!
Southern Gurl- "Southern Gurl" is an excellent ballad, starting off with a subtle electric riff, yet Rundell's brooding vocals steal the show here! The slight use of a violin works very well here, as does the chorus. Who doesn't "need a southern girl"?
The Killer Inside- "The Killer Inside" deftly blends a smooth Country tinged guitar riff with slight touches of a violin, not to mention Rundell's harmonic vocals, which makes an excellent ballad even better!
Rosealia- "Rosealia" is an upbeat Southern and Punky rocker, going from an Alternative Rocker to a slow Country ballad during the chorus. Insanely catchy bassline and vocals! Excellent song, that should have seriously been a hit!
Cry In The Sun- "Cry In The Sun" is a soulful Country/Folk influenced rocker, using a subtle organ behind Rundell's melodic vocals to create a catchy ballad that won't fail to please!
Teenager- "Teenager" is a Bass Heavy rocker, an almost sarcastic look at the havoc teenagers cast on their families. Rundell's upbeat vocals and an interesting bass beat make this Southern tinged rocker excellent!
(Untitled)- Filler track with a slow bluesy guitar solo behind echoy vocals. Not bad for filler.
Summerhouse- "Summerhouse" would make Green Day proud! A pulsing bassline along with a Punky guitar riff makes Rundell's seemingly joking vocals sound perfectly normal! A Catchy, Excellent Alternative Rocker!
Porcelain- "Porcelain" reminds me of a Bob Dylan hit, as "Porcelain" uses a Folk influence acoustic guitar behind Rundell's pronounced, brooding vocals to create a slow, but great ballad.
Heaven- "Heaven" is a heartbroken, questioning ballad, wondering if you can really get into heaven. A slight electric guitar riff lays off and lets Rundell steal the show here with his symphonic vocals. A good ballad, featuring good guitarwork.
This Time of Year- "This Time of Year" is easily the weakest track here, as it sounds too similar too the other songs, using a Folky acoustic riff behind Rundell's melodic vocals to create a decent, yet redundant ballad.
Coyote- "Coyote" is a good Blues Rock song, using a bluesy, almost jazzy beat, putting the main focus on Rundell's almost yodeling vocals, which surprisingly work!(P.S.- The hidden ending completely RULES!)
Overall, 'Deluxe' gives me nothing to complain about, as all the songs here a catchy, Southern influenced rockers that won't fail to please! I'm surprised Better Than Ezra didn't become superstars, as all of these songs could EASILY have been hits! It's a pity! Anyways, if you want good, catchy, Alternative Rock with Southern Rock/Blues/Punk Influences, I think you'll be pleasantly surprised by Better Than Ezra!
HIGHLY RECOMMENDED TO FANS OF ALTERNATIVE ROCK, SOUTHERN ROCK, BLUES ROCK, PUNK, AND BETTER THAN EZRA. CHECK BETTER THAN EZRA OUT, I THINK YOU'LL BE IMPRESSED IN ALL LIKELIHOOD!
Killer Kuts- "Good" and "Rosealia".
Dookie- Green Day Cracked Rear View- Hootie & The Blowfish Friction, Baby- Better Than Ezra
Thanks For Reading! "
Better Is Ezra
Renee Gambrel | delran, nj United States | 05/11/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I enjoyed this album when it was released in '95. Now that the band has resurfaced onto the music scene, I find myself listening to this classic album all the time. This album has a mix of a southern tone, and modern rock. Uncomparable to artists of it's day, but artists of today have been influenced by Better Than Ezra's unique sound. If you pick up any albums from this band, this should be your first stop."
Tony Mitchell | Naperville, IL USA | 02/18/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Okay. They are a one-hit wonder in most people's eyes, at least anyone who only knows them by name. However, if you own this CD, you know why i disagree. Good was an awesome song, the foundation of their success, but Rosealia is another awesome song. A true opportunity for a #1 on the billboard charts, but it was never given a chance. Coyote also rocked, and the hidden ending is quite the rocker in itself (Sorry to spoil the 'surprise' for any of you who dont know)...You cant help but love Better than Ezra after listening to this CD. It made me go outa and buy their other two albums which also rocked! *****/*****"