The Singles are a well-dressed foursome of guys barely in their twenties who hail from garage rock central U.S.A., better known on the map as Detroit, MI. They don't have much in common with the others bands on the scene except for a lot of energy in their approach and a healthy respect for the past. Instead of looking to the Stooges or the blues for inspiration, the Singles look to classic pop sources like the Beatles, the Who, the Kinks, Buddy Holly, and the Flamin' Groovies (bass player Dave Lawson even resembles Groovie guitarist Cyril Jordan circa 1976) for their inspiration. Main Single Vince Frederick writes unswervingly snappy tunes and delivers the chirpy vocals with just the right amount of teenage angst. The tracks alternate hard-charging beat rockers like "No More Places (Left to Go)," the Buddy Holly-channeling "See You Again," and the tambourine-shaking "He Can Go, You Can Stay" with sensitive beat ballads like "Waited So Long" (which has a monster guitar solo by Will Yates), "Since You've Been Gone," and the lilting "There's Nothing Wrong When I'm With You." Better Than Before rushes past in a blur of melody, harmony, and energy without a single weak song, and thanks to Jim Diamond's clean but not sterile production the record sounds live and alive. While the Singles have a way to go before they match their idols, their debut record gets them off on the right foot. Fans of power pop, guitar pop, garage pop, and just plain pop should check these kids out. They may not be better than before, but they are better than a lot of today.
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AllMusic Review by Tim Sendra