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The Best of '94 - '99

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★★★★☆
(14 Reviews)

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  • Say what you will about Bush, there is no doubt this was one of the most popular bands of the mid to late 90’s. In fact the band still has a strong following, “Everything Zen” is still a track that gets lots of airplay on rock radio and this Best Of set is a reminder of the days when Gavin Rossdale was famous for things other than just being Gwen Stefani’s husband. The truth is Bush was a good band, sure they sounded a lot like Nirvana at times, but for a while who didn’t during the grunge explosion? And even then, this band still has its own unique sound and style. The playing was real tight and Rossdale was a skilled vocalist, even with his trippy lyrics that feel like Arthur Rimbaud meets Stanley Kubrick with a dash of Jim Morrison. Like the more superior Stone Temple Pilots, Bush was one of those bands bashed by a few hack writers but embraced by the public who vindicated them and made them vital. Sometimes the people can see what the critics can’t. For example, “Everything Zen” doesn’t sound like Nirvana at all, it sounds more like a trip into the future, almost like what grunge should sound like…in the year 2089. The song is still an exhilarating ride with Nigel Pulsford’s stirring slide guitar and Rossdale’s urgent vocals. “Warm Machine” is crowd friendly rock with a poppy chorus, but it’s good corn, like “Little Things” which will take you back to high school in the 90’s instantly. “Machinehead” is pure, ripping hard rock with slick production. “The Chemicals Between Us” is a look at what Bush was attempting at the close of the decade when Rossdale expressed a desire to experiment with electronica. You could say there are a few techno touches, but in reality the band flourished with the album “The Science Of Things” in terms of melody. As a bonus this set comes with a live CD featuring the band’s “Woodstock ‘99″ performance. It’s a good look at how the band was strong live, probably more than on record. Their playing shines and the best moment is when they cover R.E.M.’s “The One I Love,” it’s done with style and feeling, turning it into an edgier, darker expression. “The Best Of ‘94-’99″ is a worthy set for the casual listener who wants the hits and doesn’t feel like purchasing all the Bush albums. But it is also a look back at the band and the trashers might be able to begin and see the actual talent present in these recordings.

    Posted on December 30, 2009