American Standard, the first album from Seven Mary Three, was widely considered a masterpiece, and won the band national attention. In between touring their first album and recording their second effort, the commercially unsuccessful Rock Crown, the band released American Standard's opening track as a single, along with a few other gems that true Seven Mary Three fans can appreciate. Both the lyrically superb "Lame" and the hard rocking "Water's Edge" are classics from American Standard, but fell under the shadow of "Cumbersome," which received much of the radio attention. While "Cumbersome" is a great song, and the acoustic version on this album is excellent because it accentuates both the vocal and guitar talents of frontman Jason Ross, "Water's Edge" is a musically superior song, and deserves the attention of being a title track. The one song in this collection that wasn't on American Standard is "Shelf Life," a track the group recorded for The Crow: City of Angels soundtrack. The song begins in classic Seven Mary Three fashion as Ross begins to tell the story. In fact, the band's songwriting talent may be as good as their musical ability.Where "Shelf Life" deviates from many of their other tracks is the electric guitar interludes by Jason Pollock. It's a nice addition overall excellent collection that highlights the early talent and success of the band.
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AllMusic Review by Shawn Nicholls