Todd Snider

That Was Me: The Best of Todd Snider 1994-1998

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AllMusic Review by James Christopher Monger

Affable maverick singer/songwriter Todd Snider celebrates his MCA years with That Was Me: The Best of Todd Snider 1994-1998 by pulling the best bits and pieces from Songs for the Daily Planet, Step Right Up, and Viva Satellite. This is a great introduction to the humble wit and easy frat-boy charm that's earned the Nashville-by-way-of-Portland, OR, tunesmith a devoted fan base over a decade's time. Whether he's crooning a twilight ballad like "You Think You Knows Somebody," taking advantage of last call on the barroom rockers "Hey Hey," "Late Last Night," and "Moondog's Tavern," or dabbling in Dylan-esque talking blues on live staples like "Tension" and "Talking Seattle Grunge Rock Blues," he's in complete control of the situation. His often acerbic Randy Newman-style social commentary always comes off as charming rather than prickly, a trait that gives each song's eventual lyrical zinger a soft -- but still penetrating -- barb. That said, fans hoping for a "lost track" or anything remotely new will be disappointed. However, they may want to pick this up solely for Snider's play-by-play liner notes, in which he closes with "By the way, none of this is true. Come on out and see me sometime and I'll tell you the real story."

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