Silverchair's third full-length release is a confusing affair that reveals a band more talented than their critics realized and more confused than their fans could tolerate. The Australian trio never made any secret of their respect for Nirvana, and on Neon Ballroom Silverchair does one of the best impersonations of their Seattle counterparts on record. It would be easy to convince any Kurt Cobain fan that "Spawn Again" and "Dearest Helpless" are actually In Utero outtakes, and quite good ones at that! When the weepy ballads, like the Goo Goo Dolls-esque "Miss You Love," pull Neon Ballroom into an overtly radio-friendly direction, all the promise of a gritty grunge tribute fades, and Silverchair appears to be serving two masters. The resultingly incongruent musical textures stifled Neon Ballroom and assured a certain amount of fan disenchantment despite the minor airplay success of "Ana's Song (Open Fire)." There are still enough nice moments on this CD to recommend it to even casual fans of the Aussie outfit. Those who had enough of Silverchair when modern rock radio played their mid-'90s hits to death need not concern themselves with this mixed effort.
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AllMusic Review by Jason Anderson