Everclear – [Album]

Saturday, 26 September 2009

What's a band to do when, as the ink dries on a brand new record contract, its members realize that have very little in the way of fresh material for use on a new album? Raid the B- and C-side content in the vault and assemble an album from those previously dispossessed and discarded songs? Record a live album? Release a greatest hits package maybe? All of those options are feasible when a band realizes its creative cupboards are bare, but Everclear had a different idea when that harrowing discovery hit them: for In A Different Light, Art Alexakis and his compatriots went to their gold-leafed songbook, picked some of their greatest hits and re-recorded them in a more adult-contemporary form to update themselves for an appreciative, age-appropriate audience.

Not let that sink in for a second before you ultimately reach the same conclusion everyone else has.

Alright, as it turns out, In A Different Light isn't bad for what it is; cleaner than a live album, easier to like than a B-sides/rarities comp (because these are Everclear's super hits) and about on par with a greatest hits release (because they are), the album plays to nostalgic thoughts from every possible angle and still manages to not come off sounding desperate – it's just kind of fluffy. There's no doubt at the intent of the record (it's a novelty, pure and simple) as Everclear lays down its electric guitars and distortion pedals and picks up some acoustics and more hymnal keyboards yet, quizzically, it's still hard not to like the idea. Stripped of the extraneous decibel levels, songs like “Everything To Everyone,” “Santa Monica,” “Wonderful” and “Rock Star” all fairly reverberate with Alexakis' passion and belief that they can transcend time and place to achieve a sort of timelessness with just the right treatment. In this particular case, that means slowing the tempos a bit, dropping the volume a lot and letting the true and wounded love sentiments shine through rather than coming off as snide and sarcastic anthems like they did almost fifteen years ago. Because of that fact and the familiarity of the content, in a superficial way, the idea can work for those listeners that want to re-live those moments for when those songs provided a soundtrack; it's an attractive way for Generation X-ers to relive some great memories, and In A Different Light will sell a few copies on the strength of that angle.

How many copies it sells remains the question though because, in the strictest sense, In A Different Light doesn't mark a return for Everclear, the band is smply re-animating old glories to appeal to an audience that has grown up since Sparkle & Fade came out in 1995. That's not a bad thing and the performances aren't either – the motivations brhind it are a little suspect though.



Everclear – “Here Comes The Darkness” – In A Different Light


In A Different Light
come out October 6, 2009 on 429 Records. Pre-order it here on Amazon .

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