A great collection of singles from a band who write near-perfect guitar pop. This marks the transition from the early gems of 1995/1996 with their very distinctive sound, through to the Mexican influence of the (much under-rated) second album, and then to the third album, by which time they were trying lots of different approaches to retain the popularity that seemed to be fading when, by rights, they should have become a national treasure; through to the four new songs, which are all fine examples of what makes the band so appealling, with Persuation and The Bluetones Big Score standing out.
A gripe is that the excellent Castle Rock, double A-side with Cut Some Rug, is inexplicably ommitted, especially as it's one of the tracks not available on any other album. And although clearly a great album, to have realeased a 'best of' instead of 'singles collection' might have allowed them to have included a few classic album tracks, such as Putting Out Fires, Ames and Tiger Lily, which deserve a second outing, and even some of their many superb B-sides, such as I was A Teenage Jesus (although perhpas they can all be released simultaneously as another collection). The band has such a consistently rich output that just releasing the singles seems a bit of a shame.
Minor gripes aside, it's still brilliant to hear classics such as Bluetonic, Slight Return, Marblehead Johnson, Sleazy Bed Track and If... and Keep the Homefires Burning on the same album. Also, the limited-edition single 4-day Weekend, from 1998, is included and that can only be a good thing. It would be great to think that people will take this album to their hearts and give the band the support to continue long into the future.