I’ve never hid my affinity for 90’s alternative radio bands, nor the music they’ve continued to make following their heyday. Better Than Ezra, best known for their hit “Good”, have never really gone away. They’ve released some extremely strong albums in the 00’s. 2005’s Before the Robots (which spawned the minor hit “Juicy”), 2009’s Paper Empire, and 2014’s All Together Now all had excellent moments, so I am cheating a bit when saying their latest single is a “comeback”. But it is one of their strongest out-the-gate singles to be released in a while.
Maybe it’s the timing of the release, but in these dark times, the uplifting and positive outlook of “Grateful” is entirely welcome. Opening on what sounds like a lo-fi sample, it then flows into Kevin Griffeth’s melodic vocals and a mid-tempo rhythm, which blows up into a soulful chorus; “I’m gonna be grateful every day. Make a little wave then we’ll ride it.”
Some may find the sentiment cheesy, but I think now more than ever it’s important to be grateful for what you have, and to have songs like this which are unabashedly about lifting oneself up from the doldrums.