|Everclear - So Much For the Afterglow|
|Music Disc Reviews DVD-Audio|
|Written by Tim Hart|
|Tuesday, 04 November 2003|
Everclear is one of those bands that have managed to blend high-energy rock and pop with catchy real-life lyrics in a very enjoyable way. There is no denying their hard-hitting 500 mph musical onslaught. The big thing going for them is the lyrical and vocal content of their music. Art Alexakis has lived enough life to give his lyrics a personal perspective that has meaning at a lot of different levels. The draw is that the writing is about dealing with the twists and not so favorable turns we find ourselves in at times. It is something we can associate with our own experiences and Alexakis’ voice is well suited to the musical style, blending seamlessly with the lyrics and the music.
Less intense than on their previous outing Sparkle and Fade, Everclear still utilizes their three-chord progressions, along with the addition of occasional keyboards, courtesy of Rami Jaffe of the Wallflowers, as well as some horns, strings, banjo and mandolin to their three-piece set-up. The addition of a multi-channel mix brings out a different feel to this 1997 hit project and gives a fan a compelling reason to pick up this disc.
. “Father Of Mine” sounds bigger and heavier than the CD version, with the heavy chords and driving bass and drum line taking this tune up a notch in its impact on the listener. “Everything To Everyone” has the vocals and drums centered and a bit forward in the mix, as do most of the songs on this album. Guitar and bass are a bit off to the right and left respectively, and some backing vocals and guitar are blended to the rear channels, which gives the music more room presence. The guitar has a nice crunchy texture, while the bass sounds taunt and punchy. The vocals have a slight raspy but smooth presentation that compliments the lyrics in a way that lends wisdom to the verse.
“I Will Buy You A New Life” sounds simple but is such a catchy tune. Alexakis’ vocals sound about as good as possible on the surround mix, with backing vocals floating around. You can’t help tapping your toes to this song.
“Amphetamine” makes you feel like you need a cup of coffee to settle down after listening to the supersonic guitar and drumbeat. Phew! Aptly named. You feel like you’re surrounded by buzz saws. At a more sedate pace, “White Men In Black Suits” settles you down a bit to a catchy song with well-sung lyrics. The verse melds so perfectly with the music that you can’t help but be drawn in. Most of the songs have this effect to the listener, with the exception of “El Distorto De Melodica,” which is an intense instrumental that has nothing in common with any of the other songs on this disc.
Extras for this disc include a nicely done inner sleeve that has all of the lyrics as well as production notes for the project. There is a hidden track, “Hating You For Christmas,” that is from the original album. Also, the DVD-A has videos of “Father Of Mine” and “Everything To Everyone.” There are pictures and lyrics to all of the songs. You can also choose from several different surround formats, such as 5.1 MLP, DTS ES 6.1 or Stereo PCM two-channel. The DTS ES and PCM two-channel will play on DVD-video players, whereas the 5.1 MLP will play only on DVD-A players. And the DVD-A is 48KHz/24-bit, not 96KHz/24-bit, so the resolution of this recording is not what I’m used to hearing in this format; I’m not sure why they chose the lower resolution. The sound is an improvement from the CD when listened to in the PCM mode, but not markedly so. The 5.1 MLP mix does add some depth, but lacks the high definition of other recordings captured at 96KHz/24-bit or higher. The surround mix does give the songs a larger and heavier presence. The addition of the two videos, “Father Of Mine” and “Everything To Everyone,” is a plus. Although I didn’t have the ability at the time I did this review to take advantage of the DTS ES 6.1 mix, fans who have this capability to access the added channel of information should be pleased.
If you’re a big fan of Everclear, or even if you’re not, you will be after you’ve given this disc a spin. It’s hard not to like.