Free Crap That Came In The Mail: Everclear, 'In A Different Light'

Is there any more concrete evidence that a band is out of ideas than releasing an album full of new recordings of old songs?

That's exactly what Everclear is doing with their new record, the aptly titled In A Different Light. If you have fond memories of hearing “Santa Monica” for the first time back in 1996, good news! You can hear it again, slightly slower with a more “stripped-down” arrangement, but otherwise pretty much the same! What about “Wonderful”? “Everything to Everyone”? “Father of Mine”? “I Will Buy You a New Life”? Yep, they're all here, all similarly slowed and stripped.

Now, I don't want to just bash a now-mostly forgotten '90s band for the sake of doing so. That's way too easy. (That said, Collective Soul, fuck those guys, right?) And maybe they are out of ideas, but who cares, really? They had their time and wrote a bunch of hits, more than most, right? I think the most disturbing part of this whole thing is just how unnecessary it seems. “Father of Mine” really sounds pretty much exactly the same here as it did in its original version. If a band wanted to re-record old songs and legitimately put some new life in them, that would obviously be a fun treat for fans–when they're as identical as they are here, it just seems like a cynical cash-in; a last gasp before the band descends completely into obsolescence. (There are two new songs, though “At the End of the Day” and “Here Comes the Darkness.”)

It almost seems like the kind of album a band puts out as the last bit of contractual obligation before exiting a record deal, but seeing as how they're now on “429 Records,” that's probably not the case. My mom still likes them a lot, though, so that's a consolation. She owned not one, but two Everclear albums back in their heyday–Sparkle and Fade and So Much for the Afterglow. On cassette. Took her a while to warm up to CDs.

Oh yeah, Everclear is playing the House of Blues in Anaheim on November 13.

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