Initial Thoughts on Art Alexakis' “Sun Songs”

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grantprobst
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Initial Thoughts on Art Alexakis' “Sun Songs”

Post by grantprobst » Thu Oct 17, 2019 12:09 am

Initial Thoughts on Art Alexakis' “Sun Songs”
By: Grant Probst

Hey ho there, Hungry & Hollow peoples! Mostly posting this here for tradition's sake, but
Since I always love to throw my two-cents in when it comes to our beloved Everclear... “here we go again!”

((" :D :P :oops: :cry: :evil: :twisted: :roll: :wink: :mrgreen: " P.S.... I kind of missed all these old smilies. :lol:))


1. Sunshine Love Song – Good. It's another short album opener, but the finger picking is nice, and the sentiment is genuine. Plus, Art manages to squeeze in another reference to Mexico, to boot! ;p

2. California Blood – Fun. With it's bouncy bass line and the treble heavy acoustic strumming, it gives me a very strong Paul Simon kind of vibe. I also like the verse about playing guitar in a car at night, as I have done this many nights myself (since I live in an apartment complex).

3. House With a Pool – Okay. Slide guitar is cool. I don't want a house with a pool, though.

4. Orange – Okay. It is Art having fun with the spoken word rhythmic style he utilizes quite a bit on this album. I think this style is done a little more subtly (and effective) on “Look at Us Now,” or even “White People Scare Me,” though. Lyrically, it's essentially about how life tends to surprise you in nasty ways sometimes, or I guess in good ways (if you go with Art's definition about people in Orange County becoming more “Blue” politically).

5. The Hot Water Test – Badass. It's that good, raw, honest emotion and lyricism we love from Art Alexakis. It is also pretty thought provoking when it comes to how we choose to deal with the most tragic and emotional situations in our lives. “Life can be ugly, or beautiful and new. It's up to me, and it's up to you.” I think Art chose a great first single with this song.

6. Arizona Star – Fun. It's simple and sweet to a fault, but that's also part of it's charm. Just a love song for a daughter.

7. Look at Us Now – Fun. This song reminds me of something off “The Vegas Years.” It's got the whole retro T.V. show theme song cheesiness thing going on (like with the “Land of the Lost” and “Speed Racer” covers). Pretty cool that Art tried to pitch his own T.V. show theme song. Also, I think the cheery lyrics make an interesting juxtaposition to the line, “we wanted to believe we had a charmed life,” which appears later on “Line in the Sand.”

8. White People Scare Me – Good. I like the Halloween-y keyboard section in this tune. “Looks like the scary clowns are driving the car again.” There is something super familiar about this song to me that I haven't been able to put my finger on, though. Was this a B-Side from the “Pure White Evil,” or Colorfinger days by chance? Because the George H.W. Bush reference is certainly there, with “a million points of Iphone lights.” Was that Art modernizing an original line for 2019??

9. Sing Away – Badass. A lot of my favorite songs are here at the tail end of the album, and this one is certainly on it, as well. The standout line for me was in the way he sings, “why didn't you talk to me!?” Not only is that powerful in the context of a parent losing a child to suicide, but the way he sings it sounds just like how he sings the line, “why can't you talk to me!?,” on “Deep In, Empty Out” (which is probably one of Everclear's most “depressed” sounding songs ever recorded). It's like the experience of depressed youth, meshing with how parents wish their children could understand how they were once much like them, too.

10. Line in the Sand – Badass. This song grows on you, but once it sets in, it is really addicting. It's the kind of song I want to listen to on repeat as I lay on the floor when I am feeling sad or overwhelmed with life. It's like, “yeah, a lot of shit didn't turn out the way I wanted it to in life, and I did some stupid things... but what of it!?” You just keep on moving, and keep on living.

11. A Seat at the Table – Super Badass. From a first listen, I knew this was going to be my favorite song on the album. Not only is it nice to see Art embracing progressive political stances heavier in his music, he also captures the collective frustration of a lot of us out there right now, in a very powerful way. “It took me a while, but I figured it out. The game is rigged by the people on top... it's all for sell, and it's all for show. The dollar signs take you where they want you to go. I get so mad when they try to sell me what I already own!”

With that being said, I don't want to put words in anyone's mouth or anything, but “Bernie 2020, yo!”
Peace.

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ndfan1993
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Re: Initial Thoughts on Art Alexakis' “Sun Songs”

Post by ndfan1993 » Thu Oct 17, 2019 10:42 am

Sing Away and Line in the Sand are two of his best all-time.

I will never listen to Orange or White People Scare Me again.

Overall really great album - Sing Away should be a mainstream radio hit...it is a GREAT song.

grantprobst
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Re: Initial Thoughts on Art Alexakis' “Sun Songs”

Post by grantprobst » Thu Oct 17, 2019 11:53 am

ndfan1993 wrote:
Thu Oct 17, 2019 10:42 am
I will never listen to Orange or White People Scare Me again.
I can see how those two songs would turn off a lot of listeners. They are both pretty quirky songs, with odd production choices.
"Orange" didn't work for me much, either... but "White People Scary Me," on the other hand... I kind of dig it!

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Josh Santo
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Re: Initial Thoughts on Art Alexakis' “Sun Songs”

Post by Josh Santo » Thu Oct 17, 2019 2:40 pm

Grant, I agree that there's something about White People Scare Me that seems familiar. The only thing I can come up with though is that it sounds like Chrysanthemum.

Frasbul
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Re: Initial Thoughts on Art Alexakis' “Sun Songs”

Post by Frasbul » Sat Oct 19, 2019 7:22 pm

Okay, so I‘ve listened to it a lot now and saw Art‘s solo show twice.

I love the album. I think it‘s certainly better than BITNB, SMD, WTTDC and Vol 2.

It might be on par with IS, WON and Vol 1.

My favorite right now is still Orange. I love the drums. California Blood and Look At Us Now are super catchy. Anybody else get a SMD vibe from Look At Us Now?

Line in the Sand and Sing Away are beautiful!
You suffer from depression, it don't mean that you're sad.

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worldofnoise
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Re: Initial Thoughts on Art Alexakis' “Sun Songs”

Post by worldofnoise » Sat Oct 19, 2019 10:40 pm

Frasbul wrote:
Sat Oct 19, 2019 7:22 pm
Okay, so I‘ve listened to it a lot now and saw Art‘s solo show twice.

I love the album. I think it‘s certainly better than BITNB, SMD, WTTDC and Vol 2.

It might be on par with IS, WON and Vol 1.

My favorite right now is still Orange. I love the drums. California Blood and Look At Us Now are super catchy. Anybody else get a SMD vibe from Look At Us Now?

Line in the Sand and Sing Away are beautiful!
That's very high praise!

I need to give it a listen soon.
"We can get lost in the fall glimmer sparkle and fade"
"dumb rock hard and good to go"

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Jimmybinder
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Re: Initial Thoughts on Art Alexakis' “Sun Songs”

Post by Jimmybinder » Sat Oct 26, 2019 11:53 am

"Sing Away" is one of his best in my opinion and probably at the peak of his songwriting, as far as I'm concerned. Some of his songs punch you in the face, others kick you in the groin, this one goes for the heart... and the jugular... at the same time! Love it!

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