Best of Krezip

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A swan song for Krezip, the band's 2009 best-of collection does a good job of explaining why they were such a hit on the Benelux scene, though no further. The record offers an hour of melodic alternative rock, and if this description is as vague as it gets, it's all the more fitting in this case. It's possible to draw a lot of analogies to Krezip's sound, from American post-grunge (the Matchbox 20 shadow looms high) to Pink's stabs at rock music and Scissor Sisters' dance-pop, but the best fit would be Belgium's K's Choice -- that female-fronted band that had its 15 minutes of fame in the mid-'90s with the hits "Not an Addict" and "Everything for Free." Krezip are less dramatic, but the bands share the general approach -- radio-friendly, mildly angsty verse-chorus songs with simple guitar textures and a sprinkling of piano. Of course, since this is a best-of, we also get some stylistic variety, most notably piano and string ballads that sound exactly the way one would expect them to, which could have been recorded by anyone from Avril Lavigne to Amy Lee. Other treats include a quiet guitar track spoiled by loud singing, an over-polished pop-punk song, and a surprisingly genuine jazz cut with some great crooning. Jacqueline Govaert's throaty, tomboyish vocals are an easy sell, and the songs are well-arranged, but still, the record is ambiguous when it comes to hooks, which are the main reason to listen to this sort of music, anyway. Basically, the hooks are there, and they are pretty big, but they are obviously recycled from somebody else's songs, so it's hard to recall them once the music's over. As far as unoriginal bands go, Krezip are great, but it's worth remembering that a copy is rarely better than the original.

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