Before The Robots
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Reviewed by Mike Farley
“Burned” is vintage Better Than Ezra, guitar-driven pop that is melodic equivalent of cotton candy. And true to form, BTE has some more laid back songs that bring to mind the modern rock movement of the nineties, when the band made its biggest impact. “Daylight” is one of those songs, and its breezy nature could have made it a hit song even thirty years ago. “A Lifetime,” the first single, is a re-release from Closer, and a touching yet lighthearted song about the untimely death of a friend. “It’s Only Natural” (not a cover of the Crowded House song) has a shuffling groove and “Overcome” is a loop-filled piece that at times sounds a little too much like U2’s “One.”
“Special” is a moody song that really showcases the instantly recognizable voice of lead singer Kevin Griffin. “American Dream” might be at home on a Tom Petty record, and “Our Last Night” is another chunk of ear candy. The hit parade continues with the funky riff-driven “A Southern Thing” and simply funky “Juicy,” then closes out with the powerful “Breathless.”
Bands like Better Than Ezra tend to stick around and/or resurface every now and then, because of Griffin’s unmistakable voice and because they keep churning out good records. They also have a road warrior mentality about touring, which puts them in front of their fan base constantly. In the case of Before the Robots, let’s just say this album will be really hard to top. Fans, get ready to feed your iPods.