The Best of Bread

by: Bread

As The Best of Bread unfolds, its 12 tracks begin to tell a tale of two different types of bands. The first half-dozen songs, all of which were composed by leader David Gates, are studies in soft pop perfection. On these two- and three-minute gems, Gates crafts soaring, evocative melodies that can stand against rock's finest. And though these songs' lyrics tend toward sentimentality, the band offers enough tasteful instrumentation to prevent them from slipping into easy listening melodramatics. Though there are no such concerns for the album's second half, Bread's more aggressive approach is not nearly as compelling. Certainly, tunes like "Mother Freedom" are appealing, middle-of-the-road rockers, but they lack the polished, melodic sophistication of their gentler counterparts. [An expanded edition with eight bonus tracks was also released.] ~ Brian Christopher Egan

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