Everclear - Sparkle and Fade (Cover Artwork)


Sparkle and Fade (1995)


So yeah, I just threw in Everclear's Sparkle and Fade. You probably remember these guys from their radio success, "Santa Monica." The trio, especially lead singer Art Alexakis, went through a lot of changes throughout their careers and these changes helped to shape their lyrics and mood. Whether these changes helped their music overall is debatable, but I personally liked them more on their earlier material. Their first album, and arguably their best, World of Noise, was dark and depressing, while the albums to follow went to a more poppy and mainstream sound until I could take it no longer. I had listened to enough of their new lovey dovey, happy bullshit and felt that it was time for me to become one of the cool kids that quits listening to a band because MTV starts sucking them off.

Okay, enough rambling and onto why you should buy this album...or download it, if you want to be a bastard about it. Sparkle and Fade definitely has an upbeat tempo throughout, with only a few exceptions. These guys are certainly not 100% punk, but there are moments during this album that are. Sparkle and Fade is also full of very catchy lyrics, such as "we can live beside the ocean / leave the fire behind / swim out past the breakers / and watch the world die." Those lyrics pretty much sum up my life when I'm having an 'emo' day and being happy just isn't cutting it. My favorite songs on this album have changed during different times in my life, but the one song that will always be dear to me is the closer, "My Sexual Life." I'm sure that many of you emo kids out there can relate to the words of this song. The lyrics could be interpreted in different ways, but in essence, it is about the fact that you can never hide from your past, especially in a small town. It's about the frustrations that relationships can bring and how differently men and women view these relationships. Art sings "My Sexual Life" with all he has and it is obvious that this song means something special to him. I only wish that he could have used some of the brilliance from "My Sexual Life" on some of his later works.

In conclusion, this album is a must have for any fan of pop-punk despite its content usually being classified as hard rock. Please do not judge these guys because of the sappy songs you heard on the radio or MTV. Everclear may have dominated the suckness from 2000-2004, but they were once cool punk rockers. Give these guys a chance, and go out and get Sparkle and Fade the first chance you get; they will not disappoint you. Peace.