Playlist Your Way [Circuit City Exclusive]

by: Gin Blossoms

In December 1997, the Gin Blossoms announced their breakup, and the lines of communication were severed so severely that the band didn't realize their former label was assembling a hits collection, Outside Looking In: The Best Of. The album may not have been compiled with the complete authorization of the band, but that doesn't mean it isn't good or useful. Aside from the live version of "Whitewash," a sap to collectors, this is a tight distillation of the band's two A&M albums, noteworthy for the first album appearance of "Til I Hear It From You." Some might think that a compilation of two albums is stretching the definition of compilation a little bit too much, but that's really just a reflection of the industry in the '90s -- two albums and one non-LP single was the end result of a decade's worth of work. Ultimately, Outside Looking In is a good listen, from the hits to the album tracks, and it confirms that the Gin Blossoms were one of the first bands to really carve out the sound later known as adult alternative pop/rock. [Outside Looking In: The Best Of was reissued in 2009 as Playlist Your Way]. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine

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