Everclear: Songs From An American Movie Vol. Two: Good Time For A Bad Attitude

Everclear: Songs From An American Movie Vol. Two: Good Time For A Bad Attitude

Few acts have explored themes of addiction, alienation, and abandonment as thoroughly as Everclear, which consistently parlays singer Art Alexakis' demons into slick, emotionally resonant rock 'n' roll. It's also made the former junkie rich and successful, which begs the question of how many issues he has left to resolve. In an ambitious experiment, Alexakis and company this year split the two faces of Everclear—sunny hooks and tormented bombast, each accompanying familiar lyrical themes—into two separate volumes called Songs From An American Movie. The first, subtitled Learning How To Smile, was one of the year's flimsiest misses, confusing lazy, smirky throwaways for happy pop. The second, the new Good Time For A Bad Attitude, fares considerably better, opting for a more consistent musical vision (guitars, hooks, darkness) to go with Alexakis' leave-this-place-and-run-away tropes. Again, its torment seems rote and half-hearted, especially given the queasy posturing of "Rock Star," which doesn't feel as ironic as it was clearly intended to be: "I just want to be a rock star / I want to tell the little people / they can kiss my ass." But Bad Attitude is aided immeasurably by its oil-slick choruses and Alexakis' suitably bombastic production. It may lack the vivid, slice-of-life evocativeness of 1995's outstanding Sparkle And Fade, but the album's catchiness is a decent consolation prize.

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