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Picks and Pans Review: How Does Your Garden Grow?

updated 09/28/1998 at 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 09/28/1998 01:00AM

Better Than Ezra (Elektra)

With bubblegum pop stars like Backstreet Boys and All Saints pushing cheerless mainstream rockers off the charts, Better Than Ezra wisely step away from their usual stodgy approach on this CD. Kicking off with the zombielike mood of "Je ne m'en souviens pas," the New Orleans trio proceeds to cover miles of new sonic terrain. Singer-guitarist Kevin Griffin, sounding as if he were on the verge of a nervous breakdown, teeters ominously over creepy-crawly keyboard riffs on "One More Murder." Meanwhile, the guys thrash with heavy-metal intensity on "Pull," merge classical strings and a jittery drumbeat on "Particle" and ease into a soothing groove on "At the Stars." Not every aural experiment works such wonders, but BTE's Garden blooms with unearthly delights.

Bottom Line: Better than ever

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