Review ·

I was growing up in Portland when the grunge scene exploded, and I remember feeling like we were  almost a part of it. The heart of grunge, of course, was Seattle; at the same time, more melodic alternative rock was coming out of California, and Portland had bands like the Dandy Warhols and Everclear. Everclear never had the artistry or poetry that Nirvana or Pavement developed, but for me the band's second album, 1995's Sparkle and Fade, still stands up. It's a hard, loud and rambunctious rock album, and fun to listen to -- despite (and because of) its connection to themes common in grunge music, such as hardcore drug use and fucked-up relationships. Art Alexakis sets the tone on the first track, crying, “Living isn't a simple thing to me, but I know ways to make it easier.” The album sold well. So Much for the Afterglow (1997) was the jaded followup that sold even better. After that I lost track of the band, and I believe they lost track of themselves.


Everclear is now a quintet, and Alexakis, the lead singer and frontman, is the only remaining original member. It is unclear why Everclear would make In a Different Light, which contains new versions of his band's old songs. Cynics will see a group of aged rockers looking to continually profit from lost moments of celebrity and artistry; those of a more generous spirit will see a reworking of pop rock songs compiled into a best-of album (even though the band released a greatest-hits album in 2004). Either way, the album is not successful. Musically, the songs, which are now built on acoustic instruments and keyboards, lack the juice and authenticity of the original versions. Alexakis's aged singing voice is not worth further mention. I suppose it was worth a shot, but it would probably be more noble for Everclear to go quietly into the night.


Leona Lewis - ECHO Fool's Gold Fool's Gold

reading this again, the edits definitely streamline the info but change the tone as well.

/site_media/uploads/images/users/longjohn/wing-of-a-roller-smalljpg.jpg longjohn

Excellent album! Really nostalgic to hear these great old songs, but also really refreshing with their new more refined and stripped back sound. Although they are taken from across Everclear's career, they are brought together really well by the new treatment and the album sounds surprisingly cohesive.

From start to finish I loved every minute - not one bum track - and although Everclear have left behind their grunge/cow-punk origins, its only a natural for an artist to evolve. And thats whats really exciting about this release, not only have Everclear evolved, but they seem to have rediscovered their purpose. They sound rejuvenated - not angry like when they first set out - but audibly alive and making music with passion and feeling. The new Fire Maple Song and Summerland are my personal favorites, although At The End of The Day is really growing and running them close.

I completely disagree with the above review which suggests a decline in the lead singers vocals - his voice is more weathered now, but he has improved as a vocalist and sings excellently throughout. He does not howl with pain quite like he used to, but it is quite evident that he is singing from a different place - less angry, a bit wiser and more hopeful but still every bit as emotive. And that is perhaps what makes this album work so well- they are not just trying to do what they did 10 years ago.

I think the new sound is great, and the new tracks on here are good, so I am really looking forward to the long awaited 'new' album that they have talked about for next year. For now though, I am more than content to listen to In A Different Light.

/site_media/uploads/images/users/prefix/no-user-pic.gif miguelsalgado1111

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