#149 Everclear – So Much For The Afterglow (1997)

This is another artist on my list of that have multiple entries and this is the first for Everclear. This was the follow up to their smash breakout “Sparkle & Fade”. The backbone to this band is Art Alexakis and his exquisite, self introspective style make him one of my favorite song writers. His themes often explore the darker part of the human psyche, and many times the lower rungs in society are the protagonist’s of his songs. This album spawned 3 major hits that followed this song writing blueprint. Although I feel that “Sparkle & Fade” is my favorite Everclear offering, this album is their best-selling and most commercially successful record. Art delves into serious subject matter when it comes to his writing, many times exercising his own personal pain through song. Such is the case with the song “Father of Mine”, where he talks about growing up in poverty in a single parent home, recalling “it wasn’t easy being a scared white boy in a black neighborhood”. His sentiments come through loud and clear in the chorus, where the background singers call out “my daddy gave me a name” and Art answers “then he walked away”. On “Everything to Everyone” the intro features the guitar crying out a warning siren, calling you to sit up and pay attention. It tells of what an emotionally crippling trait being a people pleasing enabler can become and contains one of Art’s best lines “I think you are blind to the fact that the hand you hold is the hand that holds you down”.
This disc also contains one of my favorite Everclear tunes “I Will Buy You A New Life”, which is a song in which I find a very personal connection with. It speaks to being in a place where you cannot do for the ones you love in the manner in which you would like. The desperation of wanting to make them happy, safe and content, but not being able to. It contains another classic Art line “they have never been poor…they have never known the joy of a welfare Christmas”. Everclear sets the backdrop to the seriousness of the lyrics with a throbbing rock beat and production afforded them with the success of their previous album.

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