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Before the Robots

Better Than EzraAudio CD
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (71 customer reviews)

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MP3 Music, 13 Songs, 2008 --  
Audio CD, 2005 --  

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Everyone knows Better Than Ezra. They're the million-selling band with hits like "Good" and "A Lifetime" that sells out venues coast to coast and enjoys a legion of fans so faithful they've dubbed themselves the Ezralites. So, what's the story behind that name?

"We have never revealed it, even under duress," says front man Kevin Griffin. "We ... Read more in Amazon's Better Than Ezra Store

Visit Amazon's Better Than Ezra Store
for 15 albums, 3 photos, videos, and 1 full streaming song.

Product Details

  • Audio CD (May 31, 2005)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Indieblue Music
  • ASIN: B0007VF2QO
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (71 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #43,056 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Burned
2. Daylight
3. Lifetime
4. It's Only Natural
5. Overcome
6. Special
7. American Dream
8. Our Last Night
9. A Southern Thing
10. Juicy
11. Hollow
12. Our Finest Year
13. Breathless

Editorial Reviews

As of May 2005, it's been 10 years since Better than Ezra bounded up the charts with the unsinkable hit "Good," which is just about long enough for modern rock fans--especially the ones who picked up 2001's crummy Closer--to mentally file the band in a "moment has passed" category. With the release of Before the Robots, though, comes the need to reshuffle the played-out deck. The first single, a re-done "Lifetime," effectively rescues a really good story-song from potential oblivion by sending in an un-soupy acoustic guitar and Kevin Griffin's more inspired vocal; "A Southern Thang" tips a straw hat to the Louisiana swamps the band emerged from with a rip-it-up riff; and the aptly titled "Juicy" chugs along a funkified track that veers daringly close to disco. For a threesome on the brink of been-there-done-that, Before the Robots represents a bold but pleasingly poppy rebound. --Tammy La Gorce

Product Description

'Before The Robots' is Better Than Ezra's fifth studio release and their first record in three years. The album features the intensely catchy pop-driven single 'A Lifetime'. Artemis. 2005.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
29 of 34 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I have seen the light! June 5, 2005
Format:Audio CD
The Good

"Burned" is defined by driving fuzzy riffs and power chord accents. The catchy chorus will have you singing along in no time. I'm not that big a fan of falsetto vocals, but the way that vocalist Kevin Griffin uses them on "Daylight" has caused me to re-evaluate my stance on the matter. He's backed by a keyboard and drum dominant rhythm section. The lyrics to "Lifetime" are quite clever. While it leans toward the subject of lost love, it really focuses on how much a three minute song can mean shared with the right company. Kevin's vocals and his acoustic guitar backing are both seductive as he moves in on his prey on "It's Only Natural". The song's title more that clears up what it's about.

I've said it once and I'll say it again; you can't go wrong with a `whoo-hoo' song. Unfortunately for the characters in "American Dream", things have gone very wrong. I think in some way we can all relate to their issues. "Our Last Night" is a beautiful and emotional power ballad led by melodic vocals, keyboard tones, and clean guitars. The twangy guitar licks of "A Southern Thing" help give it a .38 Special/Lynyrd Skynyrd feel. The vocal delivery is similar to the early 90s pop-rock song "Rock On" (from the movie Dream a Little Dream). Break out your bell-bottoms and platform shoes for "Juicy", because Griffin goes all Bee Gee's on us (I guess the Scissor Sisters for you young'uns). It has a great funk style riff and vocal hook in the chorus.

The Bad


The Verdict

I was never really a fan of Better Than Ezra. I always thought they were another `what was in at the time' band. After listening to Before the Robots, I have seen the light. They proved to me that they are quite versatile and have a knack for writing catchy and well-written rock songs.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars 3 1/2 Minutes, Felt Like a Lifetime May 31, 2005
Format:Audio CD
The album starts off with three sing-alongs that BTE is best known for, Burned, Daylight, and A Lifetime. A Lifetime is actually a holdover from their 2001 album, the sadly overlooked Closer. The version on BTR speeds things up a little, and rocks a little more than the original. It also includes the line that has bugged me for a while, "And that R.E.M. song was playing in my mind. Three and half minutes, felt like a lifetime." Looking through my somewhat extensive R.E.M. library, found that Let Me In off of Monster clocks in at 3:28 and At My Most Beautiful off of Up finishes at the 3:35 mark. Monty Got a Raw Deal, The One I Love, and Find the River are all close also and might fit the song. (Keep in mind that A Lifetime ends at 3:26.)

Another BTE trademark is that they take some chances and that is found in Its Only Natural, Special, and Juicy. Juicy is the best, a danceable song that is accompanied by a falsetto voice and a driving bass line that make you realize what a modern Bee-Gee's song might sound like is they listen to Devo or Violent Femmes.

American Dream is the best written song on the album telling the story of a few people that haven't achieved the American Dream yet. In this Red State/Blue State time, the lines, "I'm a little bit rebel, I'm a bit patriot. I can see both sides of the coin" probably describes most of America while our government is littered with fanatics on both side of the fence. A Southern Thang lives up to the bill as a southern rock song being that the band is from New Orleans. The song also takes a little of the melody of the David Essex classic, Rock On, during the chorus. They even namedrop the King of Delta Blues himself, Robert Johnson in the song.
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14 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Before The Robots June 1, 2005
By Shari
Format:Audio CD
Yes, they're back. Again. The band with the funny name, which just begs to be the punchline of a thousand jokes. The one that could be written off as a "one-hit wonder" for 1995's post-grunge smash "Good" - except that those in the know, know that's not true. After 17 years of of weathering just about every storm that can befall a group, several radio hits, and near-constant touring with sold-out shows, the group that's better than ever has released their seventh album. So what comes before the robots? Humanity of course. Songwriter/singer/guitarist Kevin Griffin offers up every side of the human condition, good and bad, while the rhythm section of bassist Tom Drummond and drummer Travis McNabb lay down the heartbeat underneath it all.

"Burned" kicks off the disk with pure power pop that belies the sadness and yearning within. "Daylight" continues the theme, but with the promise of optimism in the face of darkness that Griffin is a pro in conveying. If "A Lifetime" sounds familiar, yes, you've heard it before - it has been reworked since last appearing on 2001's Closer, but it's easy to forgive hearing once again this bittersweet celebration of life in the face of death wrapped up in the metaphor of a 3-1/2 minute R.E.M. song (it doesn't really matter "which" one - it's whatever song you want it to be!). While we're running the gamut of emotions, lust gets a brief nod with "It's Only Natural," which manages to be equal parts silly, sexy, and downright creepy.

Imagine U2 uniting with Radiohead. Add in some sincerity and humility, subtract all the music critics, and you may be left with "Overcome" - an absolutely stunning, haunting, aural layer cake that keeps promising to take you somewhere you've never been...
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Before the Robots
Love this CD. Have their greatest hits, but Juicy is not on it.. so I purchased this CD to add to my collection. Love them.
Published 9 months ago by Charmaine B. Donato
5.0 out of 5 stars one of the best from BTE
Great album and excellent transition from BTE into changing the style of music. Excellent driving CD for long trips or casual enjoyment
Published 13 months ago by michirock
4.0 out of 5 stars Better than Ezra
Since I am a Baby Boomer Rockin Roller, I had heard one of these songs on a TV show and thought I would try it out, not bad.........I still like my Classic Rock stuff better. Read more
Published 21 months ago by pie856
5.0 out of 5 stars Just doesn't get Better Than Ezra
I won't bore you with some artsy fartsy description of the music like most cd reviews. If you like BTE you will love this CD. Read more
Published on April 17, 2010 by Z. X. Hall
5.0 out of 5 stars Thank you
I have had this cd for almost two years and it is still a strong player in my rotation. This is an excellent example of when a band leaves their label to do their own thing. Read more
Published on March 7, 2008 by Bradley R. Beckwith
5.0 out of 5 stars Great stuff!
I'm a huge fan of BTE and this is the best album they have put out yet. Kevin's lyrics are poetry and don't disappoint!
Published on March 22, 2007 by Michael Johnson
4.0 out of 5 stars Great choice
I am a big fan of BTE, and this disk does not dissapoint. Songs are catchy and easy to get into.
Published on January 31, 2007 by J. Riegel
5.0 out of 5 stars BTE--The most amazing and under-rated band ever!
I am so disappointed that more people do not know how wonderful this band is. Each new album is creative and daring; the hooks never fail to give me goose bumps. Read more
Published on November 16, 2006 by Emelie D. Armstrong
5.0 out of 5 stars Album of the Decade
The Cure had "Disintegration", BTE has "Before the Robots" as their masterpiece. If you ever had a broken heart... Read more
Published on September 7, 2006 by seanw44
5.0 out of 5 stars Better Than Ezra's Best Ever
"Before the Robots" is absolutely fabulous! Beginning to end, the songs rock with intelligent lyrics that hit home and groovy melodies. These guys are true storytellers. Read more
Published on August 18, 2006 by Amy Becker
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