The only real stumble on Good Riddance's live farewell album Remain in Memory comes at the beginning with audio from the concert's opening. It consists of a number of politically charged quotes from a variety of sources, but while the sound bites are significant to the show's audience, their effect is greatly diminished without visuals or other context. This could be detrimental for those who are not familiar with Good Riddance or their philosophy, but it becomes a non-issue as soon as the music starts. Despite being a live recording, Remain in Memory is remarkably clear -- the vocals are articulate and the instruments are vibrant without overwhelming Russ Rankin's impassioned performance, as evidenced on "Flies First Class"." Throughout the album, Good Riddance is aggressive, at times almost manic, but the overall tone is bright and hopeful even when the band is criticizing politics and society. Part of the fun of Remain in Memory is that it's engineered well enough that everyone is featured -- Rankin, his bandmembers, and even the audience are all captured in a way that's refreshingly authentic. It comes together on "Yesterday's Headlines," when the synergy between the band and its fans reaches critical mass as each feeds off the other. During moments like this, Remain in Memory creates the illusion of being front and center, as all live albums strive to do, but what makes this album particularly poignant is the circumstance surrounding the performance -- it was the band's last. Good Riddance had decided to call it quits after more than 20 years, which means that they pull out all the stops here, blazing through a set that includes songs from all of their major albums and maintaining good energy and a positive attitude throughout. There is a guest vocalist (courtesy of Tilt's Cinder Block on "A Credit to His Gender"), an encore, and entertaining (though occasionally bittersweet) banter with the audience. In short, it's a performance worthy of one last stand.
AllMusic Review by Katherine Fulton