Everclear – Slow Motion Daydream

It is always a wonder how a television show can run for such an extended period of time. You can understand the certain few, the ones that either sincerely makes you laugh, cry or want to sleep with your best friend’s girlfriend – but there are always those who leave you with unanswered questions (mainly, “why is this show still on?”). Alas, we’ll take one as an example and attempt to parlay it with Everclear’s musical career. We’ll start with the premise: take good looking high school students and place them in everyday teen situations in an upper class suburban neighborhood and go with it. Okay, it’s a slow start but things are picking up – surely enough, your targeted demographic are your biggest fans and the viewership is increasing. But what you need is a memorable episode, (a hit song) or some sort of controversy to boost ratings … okay, we’ll let the snotty lead actress lose her on screen virginity to the James Dean, bad boy character – BAM! The ratings sky rocket and you have a hit show on your hands! Success!

As the years tumble along, you slowly realize that it has become more difficult to write your weekly episodes, the ideas are running out and short of doing the ludicrous, your well is running dry. The actors portraying the now college students are pushing their mid 30’s and you’ve done everything possible to keep your audience tuned in (including marrying two the characters’ parents, blowing up one’s dad – who actually is a secret agent or something – and keeping one of the characters a virgin). Okay, things are still alright – no need to panic just yet.

A few more years and the bottom has completely fallen out. The two lead characters aren’t even on the show anymore, half the cast has left and everyone is years past college. It’s time to call it quits. Time to close the door to that ridiculous diner, those clubs, bedrooms and anything else you opened over these years – it’s over – finally. Well for Everclear, it’s not quite there yet. Their punk laden World of Noise was their humble beginning, when they were testing the waters – then came their big splash, their ‘prom night episode’, their Sparkle & Fade. And as the years went on, they released one truly unspectacular album after another and now it’s come to the point where things are just looking painful. It hasn’t come to the point where the lead characters have left, but it’s coming awfully close. 

From the opening strums of “How to Win Friends and Influence People” you quickly recognize that distinct 70’s flavored rock/pop mesh. The “na na na’s” of “Volvo Driving Soccer Mom” and the heavy melodic chorus of “New Blue Champion” all speak of words spoken before. Yes folks, it’s at that period where you start ripping yourself off – it’s like all their previous records post Sparkle & Fade, all the same songs with different names. There are however, some instances that evoke a second look (the ironically titled “TV Time”) that, like an aging TV show happen to tap one last reserve of quality, a “woah, didn’t see that coming” instance. Unfortunately, the underlying tone for Everclear is that they have well exceeded that allotted time. The ideas and everything creative, interesting and in this case, listenable are all but gone. It’s time for some suit to cancel this show.

(Capitol Records)