Top critical review
on 26 February 2000
This was perhaps the greatest chance of this band's career to become huge as opposed to the moderately successful singles band with a brilliant 'best of' album that they looked like being remembered as. Unfortunately, 'Fred Astaire' and 'I Know What I'm Here For' are by far the best songs (and - yes - the singles) on what is a fairly mediocre set. Their failings remain- too many superfluous tracks like the featureless 'hello' and 'shooting my mouth off'; Tim Booth's occasionally strong but often pompous voice, vastly overrated lyrics and self-conscious (and unfulfilled) desire to be 'weird'; the band's continued unadventurousness and tendency to rely on obvious song structures. This album's swift rise and fall from the charts is a clear demonstration that James albums are only ever going to be bought by those few who believe them to be a great band - but, barring the fact that they are a strong and consistent singles band (Their best of should certainly be in your collection), do they really come up to the standard of the genuine great guitar bands of recent times, like The Smiths, The Stone Roses, Blur, Oasis, The Verve? They don't. Steer clear of this rather dull album.