Review - Songs from an American Movie, Vol. One: Learning How to Smile

Artist: Everclear

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While it might be a bit much to call Everclear's last album, "So Much for the Afterglow," a masterpiece, damned if every track wasn't a hit single waiting to happen.

The new "Songs from an American Movie, Vol. One: Learning How to Smile" is supposed to be the more experimental, pop-friendly part of a double album, with part two due later this year. This disc offers shinier production values and has more filler and less pogo-friendly crunch than one would expect. Still, the melodies do stick in the head, like the first single, "Wonderful" (you know, the "sha-na-na" song), the title track (with a Zep-like string section) and "Unemployed Boyfriend" (which spouts ill-advised Bruce Springsteen/Jerry Maguire-like dialogue interludes). The listener even has to sit-through a cover of "Brown Eyed Girl."

So much for the "Afterglow" indeed.

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