For a brief period in the late '90s, Days of the New ruled the airwaves with their mix of post-grunge attitude and swampy acoustics, sounding for all the world like Alice in Chains circa Unplugged. "The Down Town," "Shelf in the Room," and "Touch, Peel and Stand" all propelled the group's self-titled debut to platinum status, where it shared the spotlight alongside Creed's My Own Prison and, one year later, Fuel's Sunburn. The original lineup dissolved on tour, however, leaving Travis Meeks to recruit new members for both Days of the New II and Days of the New III, neither of which could match the first album's success. The group went on hiatus in 2002 and re-formed several years later, opting to whet its audience's appetite for a promised fourth album with this retrospective, The Definitive Collection. While all the charting singles are present, it's hard to imagine anyone viewing this as an essential album, since most fans already own the three studio efforts that precede it. If anything, The Definitive Collection highlights how inconsistent (or wildly eclectic, if you're a fanatic) the band has been since 1997. The murky grunge songs that open the disc give way to the orchestrated tunes of Days of the New II, eventually coming to a puzzling close with the quasi-prog experiments that Meeks tackled on his third album. Those itching for their '90s nostalgia fix should seek out the band's debut instead, while loyal fans wishing to support the band should wait for its upcoming return to the studio.
AllMusic Review by Andrew Leahey