Like so many '90s alt rock bands, Filter had "one" big hit (1995's "Hey Man, Nice Shot"), took a while to deliver their second album, wound up having another radio hit with that record (1999's "Take a Picture"), "one" big enough to camouflage how the group was essentially turning into a cult act, a metamorphosis confirmed by their next album two albums, 2002's The Amalgamut and 2008's Anthems for the Damned. And like so many '90s alt rock bands, Filter was obligated to spit out a wealth of non-LP songs, all the better to fill out multi-part U.K. CD singles and to earn a showcase on soundtracks. Rhino's 2009 Filter: The Very Best Things (1995-2008), the group's first compilation, attempts to take all these factors into consideration. It has all the hits, sometimes present in single edits as in the case of "Welcome to the Fold," cherry-picked album cuts, and a host of stray tracks: there's "Jurassitol" from The Crow: City of Angels; the Crystal Method collaboration "(Can't You) Trip Like I Do" from the Spawn soundtrack; a cover of Nilsson's "One" from the X-Files: The Album and "Thanks Bro" from Songs in the Key of X. All this is sequenced non-chronologically, not so much to give the album a rhythm of a set list but to illustrate the connecting threads in the music of lead singer/guitarist/songwriter Richard Patrick, whose songs do seem of a piece when presented here. That may not be enough to win over skeptics convinced that "Hey Man, Nice Shot" made Filter a one-hit wonder, but it's more than enough to make this an effective summary and introduction of Patrick's work.
The Very Best Things 1995-2008 Review
by Stephen Thomas Erlewine