With the market for modern angst having been sold short by headline writers and color-coded terror-alert designers, what's a '90s-grunge-rooted rock band to do? In the case of Art Alexakis and Everclear, you bare your soul... more » with a smile. On the evidence here, the melodic '70s pop affectations of his divorce-chronicling Songs from an American Movie, Vol. 1 seem to have permanently seeped into Everclear's sound. But they're considerably beefier than the album's straightforward production, wrapping dry observations about American life in bouncy, driving slices of pop-punk that are as infectious as they are wryly disconcerting. Tracks like the album's first single, "Volvo Driving Soccer Mom," and the spirited "How to Win Friends and Influence People" suggest that pervasive rumors of irony's demise have been overstated--or simply ignored--by a gleeful Alexakis and company. If it's an album that also argues that the band is working from formula, it's one they'd be wise to patent. Enhanced CD features include Web keys to performance footage, home movies, and B-side downloads. --Jerry McCulley« less
With the market for modern angst having been sold short by headline writers and color-coded terror-alert designers, what's a '90s-grunge-rooted rock band to do? In the case of Art Alexakis and Everclear, you bare your soul with a smile. On the evidence here, the melodic '70s pop affectations of his divorce-chronicling Songs from an American Movie, Vol. 1 seem to have permanently seeped into Everclear's sound. But they're considerably beefier than the album's straightforward production, wrapping dry observations about American life in bouncy, driving slices of pop-punk that are as infectious as they are wryly disconcerting. Tracks like the album's first single, "Volvo Driving Soccer Mom," and the spirited "How to Win Friends and Influence People" suggest that pervasive rumors of irony's demise have been overstated--or simply ignored--by a gleeful Alexakis and company. If it's an album that also argues that the band is working from formula, it's one they'd be wise to patent. Enhanced CD features include Web keys to performance footage, home movies, and B-side downloads. --Jerry McCulley
"From hard punk rock of "World of Noise" and "Sparkle and Fade", to more catchy pop sounds of "So Much for the Afterglow" and "Learning How to Smile", to the witty and fun "Good Time For a Bad Attitude"..."Slow Motion Daydream" delivers it all. The first single, "Volvo Driving Soccer Mom" may veer off some listeners for it's almost too playful sound w/ hysterical lyrics. In my opinion, that's the worst song on the album, but still great. Every song on this album has a unique sound to it. From hard hitting guitar riffs of "Blackjack", "I Want to Die A Beautiful Death", and the hidden track title #12, to a more popular fan based sounding "How to Win Friends And Influence People", "The New York Times", and "Sunshine." "New Blue Champion" and "TV Show" are songs made to perfection that could easily outdo any song from "SMFTA". The whole album can be played all the way through w/o skipping through any songs (w/ the exception of "Chrysanthemum" which sort of acts like the intermission of the album). If you are an everclear fan, this will obviously tell you that this is the best album by far. It has everything! About 8 or 9 songs are single material. Great music masterpieces of "Science Fiction" and "A Beautiful Life" are not to be out done as well. Those are quite frankly my 2 favorite tracks. The lyrics are so meaningful and may be the best everclear songs I have heard of musically."
For the fans
Jason Brent | Milwaukee | 12/17/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"if you have ever read the everclear website like i have, or any interviews, you probably would have noticed that Art and the boys believe that they have to grow as artists and continue to improve. Sure, you can make millions keeping the purist fans happy, like the ones that only listen to Sparkle and Fade or World of Noise because they're supposedly so much more raw and purer. But really, as a musician myself, where's the fun in writing the same song over and over without getting better as a writer?
i got this cd shortly after it was released, and little did I know, i was coming out of a relationship (i got dumped the same weekend). the song "Sunshine" I think is a beautiful number. It has similar overdubs like most all the songs have had on any everclear album. There's nothing wrong with adding extra guitars or using synth in any song. What I really noticed on this album, as a huge fan of part 2 of the American Movie duo, it seems to me that Art and the gang learned a lot about themselves as writers. If you liked "American Movie pt 2," "Overwhelming," "When It All Goes Wrong Again", and "Short Blonde Hair," you will definately enjoy this album. Most of the songs are just as cool and personal as those songs are.
the songs that realy stick out to me are "I Want to die a Beautiful Death" and "New York Times" ...there are two acoustic songs. "Chrysanthemum" is a very short, simple song similar to "THe Good Witch of the North" from American Movie pt 2. "Science Fiction" is the second acoustic song, and it is very much one of the greatest songs Everclear has ever done. It's just Art on guitar, with a very simple chord set-up, and some strings sythed.
If you're a pure fan, you will like this, but will insist on criticizing it because it isn't Sparkle and Fade. If you're a real fan, who likes hearing Everclear get more technical and more lyrically sound with every album, you will love this album as much, if not more than i do"
Am I Daydreaming?
everclearfan | Portland, OR USA | 12/14/2004
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Everclear certainly has progressed over the years; for better or worse. This is Everclear's sixth full length attempt, and it shows. We get an array of slick production, mixed with pop hooks and Alexakis-standard lyrics (which are excellent I might add). Now, if you are a Sparkle and Fade fan or World of Noise fan, there won't be much on this album for you, as this is a catch mix between Vol 1 and So Much for the Afterglow, except maybe Blackjack or Volvo Driving Soccer Mom. The album starts off with a few catchy rock 'em tunes (Beautiful and Blackjack among those) and then heads off into a more light and winded middle (Chrysanthemum, TV Show, etc.), and finishes of with a few WELL DONE songs (NY Times). The album, however, seems to be building up to this climax or high point, and when it comes time to deliver; it never does. As well, Alexakis' songs do seem redundant and the same from earlier albums (Da da da da-da da da), and my favorite song on the album, 'White Noise' is the hidden track, one minute after the last song on the album. This album is good, but not great, as Everclear seem to be stuck in a dreary, overproduced whirl that they can't seem to get out of. Alexakis as well seems a little winded, but there are the highlights (TV Show, Blackjack, Science Fiction, White Noise). If you remember the fiery, passionate Everclear that I do from the mid-90's, you probably agree that this is not their best attempt. If you are getting into Everclear, get Fade or Afterglow, and if you are an Everclear fan, you might like it, you might not, but take it for what it's worth."
alexliamw | Oxford | 04/02/2004
(3 out of 5 stars)
"'Slow Motion Daydream' feels like a synthesis of previous Everclear styles, but in a really predictable kind of way. These songs are basically standard Everclear, although they're pretty good essentially. 'Blackjack' coasts along on a silly hard-rock riff which is enjoyable especially when coupled with a strong melody and some possibly political lyrics ('Please don't say that this isn't what you wanted now/this is your American dream/where everything is simple in the white and the black...be careful what you ask for'). 'Volvo Driving Soccer Mom', in the same vein as 'Rock Star', is disposable but amusing, again saved by some incisive lyrics, and 'A Beautiful Life' is really beautiful and aching but essentially a slower re-write of 'Song From An American Movie Pt 2' with strings - still, its excellent, if nothing new. 'Crysanthemum' is nice, with the same sad folky feel as songs like 'Thrift Store Chair', but too short. 'The New York Times' is a well-meaning tribute to 9-11 but comes across a little too much as bleeding-heart soft-rock. I am an atypical Everclear fan - I think both volumes of the Songs From An American Movie are excellent, a career pinnacle even - not because I'm ignorant of their past - 'Sparkle and Fade' is an enjoyable album - but because although it is commercial, Learning How To Smile is classic pop perfection, whereas Good Time For A Bad Attitude is really well-done rock as well. On 'Slow Motion Daydream' you don't get anything as biting as 'When It All Goes Wrong Again' nor anything as sweet as 'Otis Redding' - it feels like a somewhat unhappy compromise between the two albums - certainly not a return to their earlier sound - this is a commercial album. They need a new direction, really, otherwise it sounds a bit formulaic. Some good songs, but not an incredible album by any stretch of the imagination."
An Awesome Album From An Awesome Band!
Jeff | PA, USA | 03/29/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"When this cd was released, my best friend bought it on the first day. I told him that he had to let me borrow it so i could make my own copy. So I did, and I popped it in my cd player. I was amazed! This album is shockingly good. I imediately took a special liking to this cd. "Fall Down","Sunshine" and "Volvo Driving Soccer Mom" are my favorite tracks. I don't really have least favorite songs because they are all really good.5/5!"