The easy joke is, To See the Lights is Gene's Hatful of Hollow. True, the album is a collection of B-sides, non-album singles, radio sessions, and live tracks but, like the Smiths' Hatful of Hollow before it, the album illustrates the band's strengths more effectively than their debut album, Olympian. Several of Gene's greatest songs, including the roaring title track, the anthemic "Be My Light, Be My Guide," and the gorgeous "I Can't Decide If She Really Loves Me," are all rounded up on the album and they are frequently stronger than some of the material that appeared on the album. Also, the live versions of the Olympian singles are better, illustrating that the band can rock with a vengeance. It might appear to be an album designed solely for fans, but To See the Lights is a better, more compulsively listenable album than Olympian.
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AllMusic Review by Stephen Thomas Erlewine