Most helpful critical review
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
This one's for the hardcore fans
on July 7, 2000
Although this CD has its moments, it is definitely the weakest effort released by the band, as well as its first (which is good, they left room for improvement). The albums best cuts are its more obscure ones. The haunting, middle-eastern tinged "Minarets" sounds like a pre-cursor to one of their more current songs "The Last Stop", but Dave's whisper to screaming vocals backed by Carter's pulsing drums and the eerie strings/horns creates a disturbing and intense musical experience. Another great track is Seek Up, with beautiful subtle guitar by guest Tim Reynolds and more creepy jazz lines from saxophonist Leroi Moore. Also, I'll Back You Up, performed as an acoustic duet by dave and Tim, is one of the Dave's most tender songs, perfect for any romantic setting. The Song That Jane Likes is another charmer, and though the lyrics make little sense the funky beat will surely make your body move. However, both Christmas Song and One Sweet World are rather standard tunes musically, and while the lyrics are rather strong for Dave, more risks would have been expected from a band that would grow to become the weirdest mainstream band selling millions of records. The album takes a turn for the worst with its early renditions of some of the band's most popular tunes. Ants Marching, usually an in-your-face funk fest, drags like a snail with a hangover and features solos that lack any energy or creativity. The 2 minute steady drum beat at the beginning does not help the situation. Satellite is fine, technically, but lacks the subtlety of the studio recording, as well as the awkwardly beautiful mixing of the later version. Tripping Billies is somewhat better, but still feels uninspired next to later recorded and live versions of the same tune. To some it up, if you love the band you will love the album for its historical context anyway... and if you don't love the band, buy "Crash" and start loving the band.