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."
AllMusic Review by James Christopher Monger