Hippo Manchester
November 24, 2005

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Blind Melon

The Best of Blind Melon

*

In the vein of the Gin Blossoms and Sister Hazel, southern-fried alt-rock scrapes the bottom of the barrel with a “best of” collection featuring one “best of” single.  In this case, aided by the infamy of the little outcast girl dressed in a bumble bee costume in their hit video “No Rain,” Blind Melon blindsides fans with this meager and ultimately sparse retrospective. 

Considering that the band began in ‘89 and lead singer Shannon Hoon died of a heroin overdose in ‘95, a better name for the disc might have been Blind Melon’s Greatest Hit. In fact, within the paper thin 19 tracks, their one hit, “No Rain,” appears twice (the original radio play and a lame “ripped away” version.) .

                With the holidays fast approaching, box sets and greatest-hits albums are a given.  But even if the sudden onrush of album derivatives is to be expected, the line has to be drawn somewhere.  And when a band like Blind Melon releases its own “Best of” work by combining the greater bulk of its two earlier albums and mixes in some variations of earlier songs, it isn’t for the sake of the fans, the music, or the holidays.  The new release is not a hearkening to the season of giving - it’s just regifting.  And when the so-called ‘rarities’ (more like obscurities) are removed from this album, all that’s left is an earlier version of what eventually becomes the band’s great album – no additional purchases necessary.

— Alexander McGrath