Slow Motion Daydream
Everclear’s latest disc Slow Motion Daydream (the sixth offering from the Oregon trio) sounds like much of their previous work. With radio hits like “Santa Monica,” “Father of Mine” and “AM Radio,” from Sparkle and Fade, So Much For The Afterglow and Songs From An American Movie, respectively, it’s understandable that the band would want to go back to the formula that has brought them moderate mainstream success (e.g. MTV videos and radio airplay). The problem with going back to a tried-and-true formula is that it’s predictable, pedestrian and ultimately boring, especially if that formula wasn’t all that fantastic to begin with.
In the past, singer/songwriter/producer Art Alexakis has used his own trials and tribulations to craft songs about American life. It’s no secret that the forty-year-old has gone through some tough times (growing up a white kid in the projects with a single mom who had no money and struggling with a bad drug problem a few years back), but all of that is in the past and Alexakis apparently leads a well-adjusted life. With Slow Motion Daydream, the band’s motivating force continues his Americana commentary with such songs like the lead single “Volvo Driving Soccer Mom” (about an ex-bad girl turned good housewife) and “Blackjack” (a song about scary John Ashcroft), but that commentary, boasted as “emotionally complex” by the press release, is anything but.
To the band’s credit, Everclear attempt to get back to their grunge roots with a noisier, less produced album. Unfortunately, it doesn’t make up for the insincerity that comes off in the songs. Though it’s quite possible that Alexakis truly means his words in “New Blue Champion” (“I can see the light above me / I hear the sound of a brand new day / I am not going to settle for less / And I don’t think things are / ever going to change”), it’s hard to believe such clichéd testaments when they’re superficially sung, devoid of any true emotion.
Slow Motion Daydream is a real treat for Everclear fans since it’s just a continuation of the Everclear sound, even if that sound is contrived and average.