1997 was an unforgettable year. My sister graduated high school, I was became a freshman and it was the first time I met my friend, Hector Mercado (also first time he put me in the Boston Crab). There were three main wrestling promotions (ECW, WCW and WWF), coffee shops were gaining popularity and the much anticipated Family Values Tour was beginning. And in a small corner of the world, there was Everclear, touring to promote their sophomore album, So Much for the Afterglow. Unlike their debut Sparkle and Fade, this audio storybook collection hit home with more fans, especially lead singer, Art Alexakis.
Everclear has always been known to be a rock band and for that reason alone, I was a little surprised when I first listened to So Much for the Afterglow. Maybe my ears were deceiving me, but it sounded like Frankie Valli & the Four Seasons when I heard light synchronized singing. Then out of nowhere, Art Alexakis screams, “This is a song about Susan,” kicking into the title track. Ironically, I don’t know too much about this Susan character. Once the jingle finishes, it sounds like garbage sirens are going off, playing a large role in “Everything to Everyone,” where Alexakis trashes on depressed females who will do anything for attention, from making people giggle or moan. Nice guy, isn’t he? Anyways, here come the mainstream singles. The first single was the slow-n-steady “I Will Buy You a New Life,” which is pretty much a bachelor choosing contest. Throughout the whole tune, it’s like, “Pick me! I’ll build you a house, make you laugh and plant flowers in the garden.” I listen to the song because I like sound of the triangle. The other big smash, “Father of Mine” is a reflection of Alexakis’s relationship with his father. It appeared his father was there when he was a toddler but later abused his mother and left the family, something many can identify with.
I don’t plan to go on and on about the album and try to tell you, “Pick this CD! You can hear someone wanting to plant flowers!” You guys are qualified to make the decision on your own. However, the songs are clear and the vocals are great. Every melody is different and it’s like hearing several stories. If the last three tracks were discarded, then 1997 would have been an even better year. Wish Hector would have saved the Boston Crab until 1998.
The Decision: Keep it in the stash.
(Would you ‘Keep it in the stash’ or ‘Throw it in the trash’? Let us know.)