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Good Compilation of Gin Blossoms
on April 23, 2004
The Gin Blossoms always have been (in my opinion) unfairly critisized as being "grunge-lite" or "rock-lite". Whatever your opinion on the Gin Blossoms, one cannot deny that they did manage to write a handful (and more) super-catchy tunes. While it may seem strange to have a "best of" for a band that managed only 2 full albums, this in fact is a strength.
"Outside Looking In: The Best of Gin Blossoms" (15 tracks, 53 min.) includes all 7 songs that were a radio hit, some bigger than others: "Follow You Down", "Hey Jealousy", "Until I Fall Away", "Allison Road", "Mrs. Rita", "Found Out About You" and, appearing for the first time on a Gin Blossom alsbum, "Till I Hear it From You" (from the "Empire Records" soundtrack). Not a single "minor hit" is overlooked or missing. The other tracks give the best remaining tracks from their 2 albums, as well as a great (and previously unissued) live version of "Whitewash" from a 1996 concert in Pittsburgh.
The death of guitarist Doug Hopkins obviously was tragic, and his contributions are to be recognized, but in my opinion they were overblown. Only 2 ("Hey Jealousy" and "Found Out About You" of the 7 "hits" were written by Hopkins, so clearly there were other talented writers in the band. In the end, this is an excellent "best of" for the many out there (like myself) who do not have either of the Gin Blossoms' albums, and instead wanted to get all the best known songs on a single album.