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Monday, July 18, 2011

311 -- Greatest Hits '93-'03

Despite the fact that the music hasn't exactly aged well, the good vibes inherent in this collection of tunes from the first decade of 311's existence are readily apparent. It should perhaps not come as a surprise that the songs that fare best are the ones that do not feature any rapping. It's not the concept of rapping over rock so much as the delivery that doesn't work here, but rapper/backup-vocalist S.A.'s vocals gel greatly when he is instead harmonizing with lead vocalist Nick Hexum. As far as the music itself, it can never be said that this band was lazy. They shift styles restlessly, sometimes paying off with pop-reggae in "Amber," ska-reggae in "I'll Be Here Awhile", or the weird dub-section in "Beautiful Disaster," sometimes not quite, as in the attempt at salsa in "Do You Right." Overall, 311's Greatest Hits disc does have some chillout value even past the simple nostalgia-factor, though you'll be hard-pressed to get through the whole thing without skipping a few tracks.

2004 Volcano Entertainment
1."Down" (from 311) – 2:51
2."Flowing" (from Soundsystem) – 3:10
3."All Mixed Up" (from 311) – 2:59
4."Amber" (from From Chaos) – 3:27
5."Come Original" (from Soundsystem) – 3:39
6."Beautiful Disaster" (from Transistor) – 3:58
7."Creatures (For A While)" (from Evolver) – 4:23
8."Do You Right" (from Music) – 4:17
9."I'll Be Here Awhile" (from From Chaos) – 3:26
10."You Wouldn't Believe" (from From Chaos) – 3:41
11."Transistor" (from Transistor) – 3:01
12."Don't Stay Home" (from 311) – 2:42
13."Homebrew" (from Grassroots) (remixed by Chad Sexton) – 3:03
14."Beyond the Gray Sky" (from Evolver) – 4:14
15."Love Song" (cover of The Cure, from the 50 First Dates soundtrack) – 3:26
16."How Do You Feel?" (previously unreleased) – 3:02
17."First Straw" (previously unreleased) – 2:57
Listen to 311 - Amber

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