The thing with Everclear is that they were never cool. Art Alexakis was in his 30s and had already lived the rock star life and settled back down to being a father. Even when the band was on the cusp of stardom and the blonde hair, black goatee was in after "Santa Monica," most critics thought it was a one-time thing.
Alexakis was too old to become a superstar. His music was done before.
But the thing is, the stories he tells weren't. "Father of Mine" is the perfect example. He wrote a song about a deadbeat dad, about the brewing hatred he held for his own father, about the pain he had suffered with his whole life. And he wrote about dead relationships with women on the wrong side of sanity while he teetered on the edge in "Normal Like You." He responded to his critics, not allowing "the monster" to get him in "One Hit Wonder."
He writes about himself, his teen years, and his need to once be "Everything to Everyone." He writes about love being found at the exactly wrong time in "I Will Buy You a New Life."
Critics have said that on the first album, an artist has all the time in the world to make, he has his whole life. The second album, you have two years, while you're touring, leading to songs about lust and road weariness. Everclear didn't follow that formula because Alexakis's longer life allowed him more time and more experience to divulge his scars.
And Alexakis divulges his scars better than any performer who has tried to do so since (Nickelback, Staind, Saliva), probably because he doesn't focus on loud, but rather on melody and intensity.
And that is why "Father of Mine" is the best song in the deadbeat father catalogue and this is one of the best albums in the post-grundge era.