Cracker | Greatest Hits – Redux (Cooking Vinyl)

Reworking music from five previous albums, Redux feels like an original offering versus a hits package.

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The mark of a great band is how the songs still sound fresh, just like the day you unwrapped that cassette. In a ballsy move, Cracker has released its Greatest Hits – Redux in direct competition with former label Virgin Records’ greatest hits and at a lower cost. We applaud you! Band-approved Redux showcases classic songs from a band that has been cranking out quality music for over 15 years.

Redux pulls music from five previous albums and includes lyrics and fun liner notes from fan perspectives. David Lowery, singer/guitarist, created Cracker with fellow guitarist Johnny Hickman at the end of Camper Van Beethoven’s run. The Lowery-Hickman combination makes Cracker what it is today: a band who stays true to its indie-rock roots, with shots of Southern rock and a smidge of alt-country to boot.

Burning with “stickin’ it to the man” motivation, Cracker reworked their songs in an attempt to capture the magic of their live performances and the evolving nature of their music. Additionally, the album features a new song, “Something You Ain’t Got,” as a bonus track. Caitlin Cary’s guest vocals compliment the song with added alt-country flare. Kenny Margolis’ mug is featured on the cover, and his mad accordion talents are featured throughout Redux, especially on “Mr. Lonesome Johnny Blues” and “Euro-Trash Girl.”

“Low” has one of the best rock ’n’ roll intro measures ever. With its sultry vocals and guitars, it is truly a song that never ages. The Redux version has nice accordion additions for a more gypsy feel. “Euro-Trash Girl,” originally a hidden bonus track gem on 1993’s Kerosene Hat, is even better here. The instrumentation sounds larger and truer to the feeling of the song. The humorous, tongue-in cheek-lyrics on “It Ain’t’ Gonna Suck Itself” jabs at Virgin, as well.

Overall, Cracker’s Greatest Hits – Redux is a fine record. With the reworking of the music, it feels like an original offering versus a hits package. Kudos to Cracker for making the savvy decision to rerecord their own music. We are not worthy, but we are so grateful.

 

 

 

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