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Podcast Episode
Season
Eleven
number
530
Type
Album Review
Post Date
3/9/2021

Better Than Ezra

530 Friction, Baby by Better Than Ezra

Friction, Baby

Label
Elektra
Release year
1996
Producer
Don Gehman

Better Than Ezra's 1996 follow-up album on the heels of their radio hit Good is a confident stride forward with a few glaring missteps

Of the all bands that scored alternative hits in 90s rock, few managed to recapture that sales magic on ensuing albums. But that doesn't mean their follow-ups records were lesser, and in some cases they made superior albums that got overlooked by fickle record buyers. Case in point: Better Than Ezra. After having their 1993 self-released sophomore album Deluxe repackaged and reissued by Elektra in 1995, and scoring a hit single with "Good," the band quickly reconvened and recorded the follow-up Friction, Baby. What the 1996 album lacks is the killer-hook single, but what it gains is confidence. While still boasting a pair of quality radio friend tracks in "King of New Orleans" and "Desperately Wanting," the album overall has the air of a band confident and secure in the sound while still stretching. That can lead to some magic, like on the blazing "Long Lost" and somber "Speeding Up To Slow Down," but also some hubris to go too far on the bad funk of "Normal Town" and "Still Live with Cooley."

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Songs in this episode

  • Intro - King of New Orleans
  • 19:36 - Long Lost
  • 27:33 - Scared, Are You?
  • 31:24 - Speeding Up To Slow Down
  • 34:31 - Normal Town
  • Outro - Desperately Wanting

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Friction, Baby