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Being older than oneâ€™s peers certainly has its advantages. For Art Alexakis, it means that the material that he has penned for Everclear has had far more depth and substance than the work of his rivals in the post-grunge scene. Though the group since has been revamped, its latest endeavor Welcome to the Drama Club largely employs the same template with which Alexakis has been working for some time, and it further refines the musical and lyrical themes that he explored on both Songs from an American Movie and Slow Motion Daydream. In a similarly effective fashion, he weaves together cautionary odes from father to daughter, personal confessions, and empathetic tales about average souls who have been damaged by life and subsequently have lost their way.
Over the course of its last few outings, an influx of optimistic hope increasingly has tempered some of the dark undercurrents that in the past have swirled through Everclearâ€™s material. This undoubtedly is due to the notion that Alexakis has survived drug addiction, bankruptcy, and a trio of divorces. Granted, the bandâ€™s music always has had a sunnier disposition than its lyrics, but in a sense, Welcome to the Drama Club is its brightest effort to date. Although Everclear continues to envelop its songs within torrents of big guitars, its progressively more polished output overtly has begun to pay homage to The Beatles via its harmonies, melodies, and arrangements. Even its lyrics contain a few nods to the Fab Four. All You Need Is Love, for example, serves as the basis for Broken, while Yesterday cleverly infiltrates and informs the storyline of Portland Rain. With the release of The Best of Everclear in 2004, Alexakis seemingly closed the book on the first portion of the ensembleâ€™s career, which makes Welcome to the Drama Club an intriguing beginning for the next phase of its evolution. 3 stars
Anything and everything Everclear.
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