I don’t know this band save for “Wonderful” so I cannot tell you whether the Beach Boys-esque opening to the title track is a giant left turn or not. If it is, that’s brave of them. But, for those of us who do not know this band, it’s the wrong note to start the album. It tells us we’re getting one thing, and we get something else.
What we do get is a lot of power pop by way of alternative rock – this is post grunge but it is post grunge informed by power pop nearly as much as its informed by grunge. That in itself is refreshing, as I pretty much can’t stand post grunge on the whole, so I appreciate that someone has invigorated the genre with something else.
But I don’t love Alexekis’ songs particularly. The melodies are okay, I guess, though they’re not any better than those of the most famous post grunge bands. And, as with all post grunge, I can’t say I love the incongruity between the polish of the music and the content of the lyrics. Not only can I not relate Alexekis’ lyrics particularly, but I feel like this polished, pseudo-arty record is not the vehicle for these songs.
But the real problem with the record is the problem with all post grunge: they are influenced by bands who put aesthetic and feel above just about everything else but these bands drop that – they’d rather sound professional. And the weird moments are few and far between, implying there’s something more interesting than what it already here.
That being said, the songs are not bad, I just don’t like them, and everything is very professional. And at least it’s a tiny bit arty (rather than not at all arty).
All lyrics written by Art Alexakis; all music composed by Alexakis, Craig Montoya and Greg Eklund.
- “So Much for the Afterglow” 3:53
- “Everything to Everyone” 3:20
- “Ataraxia (Excerpt from “The Relaxed Wife.”) 0:34
- Normal Like You” 3:13
- “I Will Buy You a New Life” 3:58
- “Father of Mine” 3:52
- “One Hit Wonder” 3:28
- “El Distorto de Melodica (Instrumental)” 3:07
- “Amphetamine” 3:36
- “White Men in Black Suits” 3:32
- “Sunflowers” 3:48
- “Why I Don’t Believe in God” 4:17
- “Like a California King / Hating You for Christmas” 8:08