Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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The Beta Band

  • The Three E.P.'s [Astralwerks, 1999] Dud
  • The Beta Band [Astralwerks, 1999] ***
  • Music: The Best of the Beta Band [Astralwerks, 2005] C+

Consumer Guide Reviews:

The Three E.P.'s [Astralwerks, 1999] Dud

The Beta Band [Astralwerks, 1999]
Still lost in sound, but oriented enough here to make tunes out of it ("The Hard One," "Round the Bend"). ***

Music: The Best of the Beta Band [Astralwerks, 2005]
Rock-ambient Brits, you remember. Four albums, 1998-2004. First one actually three EPs. Can't remember how I was convinced to enjoy the second--has some tunes, my notes say, and I try to be kind. Young alt fans do get weary, so their third and fourth suffered disregard, and the Betas broke up in despair, dismay, or a snit. Where those tunes might be hiding on this prematurely useless 16-song best-of I don't have the heart to figure out. Why nine of the 16 are repeated on the 13-song farewell concert that inflates the package's price only their accountant knows for sure. Kindness can be such a waste of time. C+