The Dears Nor the Dahlias: The Dears 1995-1998

The Dears bid adieu to their indie roots with this Grenadine collection that illustrates that their powerful debut End of a Hollywood Bedroom Story, did not simply appear out of the ether. The music is sloppier and lacks their dramatic vision, and the songs are more slavishly tied to Britpop roots, but the most tellingly underdeveloped factor is that singer Murray Lightburn has not yet come into his voice. As the CD progresses, the Dears get closer and closer to the dramatic art rock they now showcase at shows, but in the end, Nor the Dahlias remains, for the most part, for obsessives only. (Grenadine)