This is the definitive collection of oldies but goodies, a plethora of fun-loving hits by that youthful and exuberant '60s group, the Lovin' Spoonful. The first half of the record reveals the wit and charm found in their songwriting, such as the free-spirited "Do You Believe in Magic?" With this song, the Spoonful made it to the radio scene -- and deservedly so -- all in a span of two minutes and seven seconds, chanting "Do you believe in magic of a young girl's soul?" and how the "magic's in the music and the music's in me." "You Didn't Have to Be So Nice," like most of their hits, engages the listener wholeheartedly with the genuine intent of reminiscing about past loves. The dreamy hit "Daydream" is such a lollypop of a tune, giving the listener the ultimate suggestion of relaxation and enjoying a carefree day. These songs are innocent and joyful in quality and are enjoyed best when taking it easy. "Did You Ever Have to Make Up Your Mind?" encompasses the idea of those crazy love settings, when one's heart and mind are caught on the tightrope between two girls. "So many changes and tears you must hide/Did you ever have to finally decide?" is the classic line that never grows old. The album's second half breaks new melodic and sonic ground with the Spoonful's use of refreshing new sounds and the additions of keyboards and brass. "Summer in the City" provides a daring and passionate sleeper-hit radio anthem for any summer, no matter how hot it gets. The snarling vocal presence and rapid-fire percussion and guitar riffs lend a hand beautifully. This is an excellent collection of songs detailing the career of an admired and influential classic group.
AllMusic Review by Shawn M. Haney