Songs From An American Movie, Vol. 1



by Yasgotcha69 USER (6 Reviews)
February 24th, 2006 | 8 replies

Release Date: 2000 | Tracklist

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.

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Comments:Add a Comment 
February 24th 2006


Good review, haven't heard this album in long time though. I still remember Am Radio and Wonderful and they are good songs

Digging: Iron Chic - You Can't Stay Here

February 24th 2006


Album Rating: 4.0

Good review for a good album.

I haven't heard most of their songs but wonderful and AM Radio are awesome. People used to criticize me for liking wonderful because they thought it was "childish" or something because of the subject matter. The funny thing is that that is the idea behind the song and the story it tells, of a child whose parents break up and who can't understand why things have to change.

February 25th 2006


I have to say this is one of my favroite albums and you did it justice, thank you

February 26th 2006


Album Rating: 4.0

Really great and somewhat overlooked/under appreciated band. This is among my favorites from them. It's actually a really good pop record. And as you said in your review, the diversity of this album really comes through. Rock, pop, soul, Phil Spector style bombast, it all comes shining through on this record. And of course that OG Everclear style and sound. I had the privilege of seen them 5 times on three tours, each gig a memorable one. Nice review, but perhaps a bit much about the band and not quite enough about the album. Still, I think it conveys the essence of the record pretty well. So yeah, thumbs up.

May 25th 2006


Spectacular cd from a wonderful band. My favorite on this one is "Now that it's over."

June 4th 2006


i'm gonna have to review this cuz your review was too vague.This Message Edited On 08.28.06

June 27th 2006


i really like this album. it was the first of everclear i had really heard, and it left a good impression.

Jack Wilson
July 12th 2007


Album Rating: 3.0

i like so much for the afterglow better than this. but this is a pretty good album.

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