Ezra keeps getting better

"Before the Robots," by Better Than Ezra

Better Than Ezra
“Before the Robots”
Artemis Records
Four stars (out of four)
Reviewed by Samuel Gaytan
Reno Gazette-Journal

Don’t be put off by the title of Better Than Ezra’s latest CD, “Before the Robots.” Nothing about it is cold or unemotional. It’s as passionate as New Orleans, the city the band calls home.

The release marks the group’s best work yet. “It’s Only Natural” reveals the group at its most brilliant. It begins with a smooth Latin beat and at first feels like a simple song of seduction. However, Kevin Griffin’s vocals and the lyrics turn it into something darker. The goal of “what are you and me but monkeys in a tree, it’s only natural” is clear enough, but doubts raised by the inflections in his voice are confirmed when a voice softly says, “They never caught Jack the Ripper.”

BTE always has shown a knack for hiding darkness in happy-sounding music. At its best, Better Than Ezra’s music reminds me of walking through New Orleans on a sultry night, meeting interesting characters along the way. “Before The Robots” offers plenty worth meeting.

Recommended if you like: Goo Goo Dolls, Matchbox Twenty, Third Eye Blind

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