Then watchin' dirty movies
In that happy room with you
Sleepin' on a mattress in the corner
Eating Chinese food
I hear that voice in my head
Say here we go again
Here we go again is right—and thank god for that.
And of course, Everclear, who in the year of 2000 released Songs From An American Movie, Vol 1: Learning How To Smile
, returned with the blast that they usually do, proving that once again that they were still capable of success in the changing music market. This album, which would become the first of a two-part set (later released was Songs From An American Movie, Vol 2: Good Time For A Bad Attitude
), began what would evidently be one of the last stands of Everclear.
Surely, this band has gone somewhat unnoticed in a music industry that demands either the cliché or the flashy, but Everclear—who are known for composing catchy, jagged, almost Indie-like tunes—stayed true to themselves in an overly precarious profession and bit the bullet.
Releasing their fourth album, which to me, was a breath of fresh air—something which did not surprise me at all—Everclear has yet again proven that, while influences and inspirations are specific and differing for every band's lyrics and sounds, that it doesn't have to always reflect or sound exactly the same on every release.
Here we go again is right—but not quite the same.
Songs From An American Movie, Vol. 1: Learning How To Smile
provides the same old Everclear flavor; mixing punk-like distortions, grunge-like riffs, and raw Indie-like sounds. But beyond this though, Everclear has introduced versatility through the piano, stunning acoustics, stellar "sha-la-la's" and "nah-nah-nah's", and last but not least, collage's of dialogue placed at the beginning or in the middle of some songs.
So, should I recommend this album, or its counterpart? Definitely, yes.
If you consider yourself to be a huge fan of fusion music that is not only simple and catchy, but also capable of sending you on an emotional roller coaster (I attribute this to the lyrics of Wonderful), then you may be in for one of the better rides of your Alternative Rock life. However, while Everclear is evidently something made for everybody, it is seemingly made for nobody at the same time—well, Er...except maybe the actual band.
This is where the difference comes in. We are rewarded with a sound that is perceivably created for the band in itself (Art, Craig, and Greg), which depicts a certain passion through their music. But the even more admirable addition or bonus, if you will, that we get through this work is that, while this album was (like all Everclear albums) made for the band's own self-fulfillment, we are all still easily capable of enjoying it.
If you haven't heard anything from Everclear, you may be missing out on quite a bit. I would quickly recommend that you consider downloading some of their older tunes, along side AM Radio, Brown Eyed Girl, and Wonderful from this album; a few of the songs which are definitely stand outs.
Music is important in our lives today, and Everclear obviously acknowledges this through Songs From An American Movie, Vol. 1: Learning How To Smile
. They are ultimately successful in this respect, but also in sending us into a wonderland where we can forget or remember the lives we live, or that have already passed us by.