Slow Motion Daydream review
Slow Motion Daydream (Capitol)
As you all know, I like to start off my reviews with a clever play on the title of the album that briefly sums up my review. With that said: "Slow me down, I think I’m dreaming!" With their latest album, Slow Motion Daydream, Art Alexis and co. delivers the signature Everclear goods. This is their follow up to two discs set Songs From An American Movie: Learning to Have A Bad Attitude, and is their third studio album since forming in 1995.
With this album, singer/song writer/guitarist Art Aliceakis has a different approach, taking an introspective look at the world around all of us as opposed to writing entirely autobiographical songs as found in his past work. No more are songs like "I Will Buy You A Garden", "My Daddy Gave Me A Name", and "A Power Bigger Than The Pain" that dominated Everclear’s first album, Sparkle Much For The Fading Glow. In place of them you will hear songs like "Volvo Driving Soccer Mom". Told in the first person perspective, "Volvo Driving…" is the story of a party girl/private investigator who must answer the question “where have all the porn stars gone?” by going undercover as a suburban mother to discover just who is behind the diabolical abductions of the world's top porn stars.
"Volvo Driving…" is not the only song from this album to take such a different approach. "Blackjack" is Alentakis’ musical fan fiction tribute to his favorite show, The X-Files. In this fantasy episode, the world is put in peril by an omnipotent mutant created by a secret military genetic research division the US government, Project: Black Jack. The mutant, nicknamed ‘Scary John’, has strong arms with big, heavy hands which he uses to break people, Mulder and Scully must track down and convince Project: Black Jack to destroy their creation as it poses a threat to not only to the enemies of the US, but the US itself. Altenvekis further professes his love for all things sci-fi with the song "Science Fiction" which serves as a tribute to the genre the song gets its title from. And he doesn’t stop at "Blackjack" with songs about sci-fi television. With the song "TV Show", Alywerkis gives us the synopsis of television pilot he has created. The concept is about a man, unhappy with his life, who dies but is given a second chance to set things straight with his family, only the families he meets in each episode are alternate reality versions of his real family. Think of Sliders meets A Wonderful Life and you’ve almost got his show.
It’s not to say that front man Arthritikis doesn’t sing any songs on personal advice, in fact the first track of the album is a word for word reading of the well known self-help book, How To Win Friends And Influence People set to music. Very avant-garde Mr. Alentacokis, very avant-garde. Yet, in a move that displeasured this reviewer, Altoidakis includes the song "I Want To Die A Beautiful Death" which states his suicidal thoughts. I’m not saying that these thoughts were contrived but I felt that this was a call for attention, rather then the cry for help of the truly depressed. However, this song is later redeemed by Algorekis’ letter to the editor style rebuttal in the form of "A Beautiful Life". These two songs square of in an old fashion debate, with "A Beautiful Life" coming out victorious as represented by its higher placing in the track listing of this CD.
The CD is not without one personal song. That style is represented by "Chrysanthemum", a tale of Art’s personal struggle with gardening and directions. It would seem that Alrokerkis got lost will looking for a local shrubbery and gardening supply store, yet his never give up attitude shines through when he declares that he can’t go home without buying chrysanthemums first. Bravo, that’s the never die spirit!
Other songs on this CD include "New Blue Champion", "Sunshine (That Acid Summer)", and "The New York Times". Craig Montgomery and Greg Ekleman also had something to do with the album.
All in all I felt that this was a decent CD that is enjoyable to listen to. My only major complaint is that at eleven tracks I felt the CD was just a bit lacking. If the band had only elected to include a twelfth song, perhaps one that is reminiscent of the band’s earlier late 90's sound, the album would have been complete. I’ll give it 10:15 p.m. out of 24 hours on my rating scale.
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