The band known as Better Than Ezra does not get the respect it deserved. Most people only know them from their one major hit song ‘Good’ and their first album titled ‘Deluxe’. Beyond that, no one realizes that, not only do that have eight studio albums but also still tour and record music to this day. Today’s album is the one that everyone knows, but not everyone has really listened to. This is ‘Deluxe’.
Why This Album?
After the loss of my favorite musician and the discovery of my soon to be favorite band, I discovered a ton of music via CMJ new music monthly and, of course, MTV. The latter is how I discovered Better than Ezra and, with the music video for ‘Good’ playing in my head on a regular basis, I ordered up a copy of the album it was on via Columbia House Music. I am not sure if it was one of my ‘free’ albums or one of the half dozen I had to pay for but , nevertheless, it arrived in my home not too long after and I immediately found something enjoyable behind the velvet curtain on the cover..
My first impression was that this was a band that just wanted to play music, they were tight, well produced and actually extremely talented. Their songs were about teen problems, looking for love and southern life. The band members hailed from Louisiana and it was rare for a rock band to mention the south without bleeding over into country or without oozing some racism while they were at it. This band was different, they seemed to understand what life was like in the heat of the south where people said ‘bless your heart’ when they didn’t like you and where they ignored the problems that were right in front of you because if you ignored the issues, they simply didn’t exist.
The songs on the track are deeply introspective with tunes covering darkness within people to domestic abuse, to the temptations that teens are faced with on a daily basis. Kevin Griffin, Tom Drummond and Drummer Cary Bonnecaze seemed to just get it and for that, I immediately found solace in this album.
The first one that comes to mind is the 7th track, Teenager. It is a song about the things teens face everyday and, ironically, those things don’t seem to have changed all that much.
I love the track, Cry in the Sun. It almost feels like a tune that could have been written by Neil Young and it is fantastic.
Finally, Porcelain. It is a gorgeous song with backing vocals from Melanie Owen.
There is also a fun bonus track called Der Pork und Beans after the final song. It’s pretty great.
Ok, Where do I get it?
This is one that you’ll find in the bargain bins these days but 25 years later, it is still pretty great. You can grab a copy here for a few bucks or give it a listen via Spotify. If you are feeling adventurous, the band is re-releasing the album on Vinyl for a limited time for the anniversary of the albums release.
Late to the Game 12/11/2018
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