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How Does Your Garden Grow

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Album Review

Rightly suspecting that the days of grunge and alt-rock were finished in the late '90s, Better Than Ezra wisely decided to revamp their trademark post-grunge sound for their third album, How Does Your Garden Grow? That they chose to revamp in the most predictable way — mainly electronica and trip-hop, but with a touch of space rock and Brit-pop on the side — may mean they're not innovators, but it does suggest that they are canny cultural watchers, and they turn out to be as adept in fusing all these elements together as they were in blending jangle pop and grunge. That may mean that Garden doesn't have the thrill of discovery anywhere in its grooves, but it's nevertheless well crafted and smartly performed. It also happens to boast the best set of songs that Kevin Griffin and company have yet written, even if there are a couple of tracks that sink under the weight of their own ambitions. Still, the new ambition in the music (even if it isn't adventurous) and the catchier, more emotional songwriting is enough to elevate How Does Your Garden Grow? to the status of Better Than Ezra's best album.

Customer Reviews

No question, the zenith of Better than Ezra

Better than Ezra will never top this effort. It is a beautiful, complex album.

Soundtrack to my life

Had just moved to Baton Rouge in late 97' and been a BTE fan already for years. I can remember hearing lots of these songs live at The Varsity before this album was released and being so excited because they sounded so much more complex than the earlier stuff. You could see this album coming with some of the direction they were taking on "Friction Baby". I walked into a record/CD store on Jefferson hwy the morning this released and remember just having my mind blown on my drive home. I sat in my car and finished the whole thing before taking the disc out and into my apt and listening again two or three times that day. Since, it's never left my rotation. My fav song/songs change almost every listen so I want bother but as a whole this is the zenith for BTE. I don't know but Tom, Kevin and Travis MUST have been listening to so much Radiohead, specifically OK COMPUTER during the writing/recording of this record. This is the most amazing album that most people don't know about because they overlook BTE as cheese pop but if they took the time and looked a little deeper they would see how dark and twisted this album is. I haven't really enjoyed their albums since nearly as much but this is not only my fav BTE album but a top 10 album of all time for me. Travis...we all miss you man. Your drumming DROVE this record, changed my life and inspired me beyond words. People, BUY THIS ENTIRE ALBUM NOW. Take this journey over and over. Learn the back alleys of this record. You'll like how dirty it leaves you. It IS New Orleans. It IS Better Than Ezra. It IS perfect.

Sounds like it could of come out today

So timeless, BTE masterpiece

Biography

Formed: 1988 in New Orleans, LA

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Along with such similarly styled outfits as the Goo Goo Dolls, the New Orleans-based trio Better Than Ezra helped open the floodgates for countless alt-pop acts of the late '90s (including Semisonic, Matchbox Twenty, and Third Eye Blind) by merging college rock influences with mainstream aspirations. Originally formed in 1988 as a roots rock outfit with slight elements of country and punk, the group's first incarnation consisted of four college students from Louisiana State University: Kevin Griffin...
Full Bio
How Does Your Garden Grow, Better Than Ezra
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