A nice gathering of Clem Snide songs - released recordings from the old (Nick Drake Tape) to new (All Green) - but the highlights for those that already own You Were A Diamond (1998) and Soft Spot (2003) are the first releases of live cover staples "Beautiful" and "I'll Be Your Mirror", as well as the [highly] original "Mike Kalinsky".
It's hard to say what somebody new to Clem Snide would say about "Beautiful", but to fans it further demonstrates the band's ability to make covers their own. This is Clem Snide performing a song called "Beautiful", not Clem Snide doing a cover of a top-40 tune for ironic effect. Frontman Eef Barzelay means this song when he sings it. In my case, it made me take the song seriously for once.
Clem Snide turns "I'll Be Your Mirror" into one of theirs also. It gets better with every listen; the delivery comes from the heart. (As someone who had never heard the original, I was shocked that Barzelay was able to hear through Nico's drooping performance to find the song we hear on this EP)
The live recording of "Nick Drake Tape" is sublime, as is "All Green" (from Soft Spot). Only "Mike Kalinsky" feels slightly out of place. Very popular at shows, I like to think this is a glimpse into the band's previous life in the early 90's. In company with four other songs it makes for a jarring surprise. Eef's probably smiling at that, though.