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Songs From An American Movie Vol 1 Learning How To Smile

4.1 out of 5 stars 269 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (July 11 2000)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: EMI Music Canada
  • ASIN: B00004TWIT
  • Other Editions: Audio CD
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars 269 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #29,942 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
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1. Song From An American Movie Pt. 1
2. Here We Go Again
3. AM Radio
4. Brown Eyed Girl
5. Learning How To Smile
6. The Honeymoon Song
7. Now That It's Over
8. Thrift Store Chair
9. Otis Redding
10. Unemployed Boyfriend
11. Wonderful
12. Annabella's Song

Product Description

Product Description

Everclear ~ Songs From An American Movie Vo


Reminiscences permeate the dozen diverse tracks that populate Everclear's fourth outing. The trio, spearheaded by writer/guitarist/producer Art Alexakis, looks back in myriad ways on Songs From An American Movie. Alexakis skilfully and sweetly addresses his recent divorce ("The Honeymoon Song", "Now That It's Over"), musical heroes ("Otis Redding") and childhood ("AM Radio"), frequently matching his words with suitably retro music. Although the only cover is a new-wave take on Van Morrison's "Brown Eyed Girl", familiar musical references abound. On "AM Radio," a brief sample of "Mr Big Shot" sets the tone for funky flashback fun, while "The Honeymoon Song" is full of Brian Wilson inflections. Alexakis references his own "Everything to Everyone" in the title track, while "Otis Redding", "Unemployed Boyfriend" and "Wonderful" are more commercial alt-rock Everclear than homage Everclear. Alexakis set out to make a pop album, and while millennial teenagers have their own definition of "pop", for '70s-kid Alexakis, Songs From An American Movie serves as a summertime soundtrack to his 30-something life. --Katherine Turman

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
It amazes me that people can sit there and say this album has no heart behind it. Or people say they want the 'old' Everclear back. Forgive a band for evolving! I agree this album doesn't rock as much as the first three, but it does have a lot of substance. Let's start with the tracks.
Song From an American Movie Part I- Very nice track; sets the mood for the entire album.
Here We Go Again- a very romantic song. Art is very good at romanticizing things, even drug use like he did on the first three.
A.M. Radio- Everyone likes a good pop-song. It's nice to hear someone else talk about their life and their dreams.
Brown-Eyed Girl- Great cover, not quite as good as the original though. It is nice to reminisce.
Learning How to Smile- Another romantic song, yeah, Art is actually a happy guy now and you can tell.
The Honeymoon Song- Greg does a good job singing and playing the ukulele. Kind of makes you smile.
Now That It's Over- Anyone who has had their heart broken before has felt this way. Easy to relate to.
Thrift Store Chair- Living in a relationship that isn't working, been there too.
Otis Redding- Yet another romantic song. The line "sit and watch the stars die" is Art at his best.
Unemployed Boyfriend- A funny take on love at first site. Makes you smile.
Wonderful- Brilliant song. No, it's not 'Father of Mine', it's 'Wonderful'. Two completely different subjects. This one deals with bottling up feelings, not abandonment.
Annabella's Song- A nice ode to Art's daughter.
I am a huge Everclear fan and love all of their albums. Do me a favor people, let the band do what they want, it's rare for these times
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Format: Audio CD
Everclear's Vol. 1 Learning How to Smile is a great album, full of pop tunes. This album is mainly poppy, but there is some rock and funk and even a little country.
The album starts off with Song from an American Movie pt. 1, an acoustic song that is actually just part of the real song, Song from an American Movie pt. 2 from Vol. 2 Good Time for a Bad Attitude. It's a nice opener for the album. Here We Go Again is a funky pop song that uses a sample from a Public Enemy song. AM Radio, a minor hit, employs a sample from "Mr Big Stuff." It's actually a rap-song in which Alexakis recalls his childhood, growing up and getting into trouble. Brown Eyed Girl is a good Van Morrison cover. Most people didn't like it, but I did. I think you can sing along with this version better. Learning How to Smile, the title track, is many Everclear fans' favorite Everclear song, and I love it too. It's a great pop/rock song about your girlfriend or wife that everyone else hates, as Art Alexakis explained at a recent concert. Art changes the melody for the final verse and chorus - a sure sign of someone who knows how to write a hit song, although this song was never released as a single. The Honeymoon Song was written by drummer Greg Eklund. It's a nice song about his honeymoon featuring great harmonies from Art and Craig. Then comes the only true rock song on this album - Now that it's Over. It's clearly inspired by his divorce. What a brutal song! Then comes the acoustic, country-sounding Thrift Store Chair. It's a song that previews what is to come. "I think we're headed for a big fall." I don't know why this song is placed after the divorce song, but whatever. It's still great. Otis Redding and Unemployed Boyfriend are both great songs.
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Format: Audio CD
By 2000 Everclear seemed to had disappeared from the music scene somewhat. Their last album (at the time) was the massively successful 'So Much For The Afterglow' released in 1997. Although that album spawned several hits well into the summer of 1998, it seemed by the year 2000 that the band had supposedly broken up. However fans were taken by suprise when Songs From An American Movie Volume 1 was released in the summer of that year.
The record was original concieved as a double album concept that outlined front man Art Alexis' life. Instead it was stripped into two different volumes. Volume 1 basically covers Alexis' childhood and early love life whereas Volume 2 tends to cover his messy divorce and the problems that preceded it.
The opening track SONG FROM AN AMERICAN MOVIE PART 1 is a mandolin interlude which gives listeners the idea that the band has taken a different direction from their raging grunge feel of their previous records. Indeed Everclear has expanded musically on this album and unlike 'So Much For The Afterglow' and 'Sparkle And Fade' which are rock albums Songs From An American Movie Vol.1 resonates more beauty than the others. That doesn't mean that Everclear has gone soft by anymeans. They are still rockin' on tracks like HERE WE GO AGAIN, AM RADIO (which was a huge hit) and an awesome cover of Van Morrison's BROWN EYED GIRL. LEARNING HOW TO SMILE is a classic. THE HONEYMOON SONG is an easy going hawaiian feel song that has drummer Greg Eklund on lead vocals. NOW THAT IT'S OVER is a bizarre rocker. THRIFT STORE CHAIR is an interesting acoustic tune. OTIS REDDING is another reflective classic. UNEMPLOYED BOYFRIEND is a decent track but it would be better without that annoying girl on the phone.
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