Some bands may be intimidated by the need to consistently put out progressively fresh music that still manages to attract a dedicated fanbase. Better Than Ezra have proven they are not one of those bands with the release of All Together Now. Their eighth album gives their signature alternative rock tunes a slightly more upbeat, pop feel. Though lifelong fans may initially be confused by the sudden need to bob and sway along with the songs, they can rejoice in knowing this melodic urge to dance doesn’t mean they have foregone their old ways.
While continuing to move forward, growing and branching out, Better Than Ezra keeps a hold on key traits of their music that have kept decade-old fans coming back for more. Standout track “Gonna Get Better” personifies everything listeners have come to love. Their seamless ability to tell stories in a lyrical aesthetic, present since the beginnings of Deluxe, remains in tact throughout the upbeat, feel-good guitar breaks, with lines like, “It’s 4 a.m. you’re drunk again, blowing up my phone. You say, ‘I know it’s late but this can’t wait. I don’t trust myself alone.’”
Though it would be easy to get caught up in the new sound, the presence of a slower, romanticized song juxtaposes the others perfectly. Easily notable in “Before You,” the track manages to keep this uplifting, unified vibe as the piano and violin draw out Kevin Griffin’s gentle crooning, describing the type love that only seems possible in a ballad. And it is Better Than Ezra’s ability to flawlessly intertwine old sound with new sound, upbeat with downtempo, that has drawn their listeners in for decades, and probably will for many more.