Sound: I was immediate taken by surprise from this album. My expectations for this album was a conventional alternative country or indie rock album. This was not the case for Everclear. While there were songs that did fit the formula of indie rock, the album contained so much more. The song Rise, for example provides more of an early nineteen nineties alternative rock feel while the song Crabwalk is a more fast paced, energetic, fun song that has more of a jam band feel. Songs like Miracle On 8th Street and The Confidential Agent give a more slow, atmospheric sound, while Why Won't You Stay, Ex-Girlfriend & Sick Of Food offer the classic slowcore/indie rock tone. Overall, a vast variety of sound on this album.
Even though there is a lot of variety on this album, there is no or little disruption in the flow. The album seldom has any inconsistency. The only problem I really had with the flow of the album was with the song Crabwalk. I have no problem with the song, however it is so different from the rest of the album that it may feel a little out of place. Otherwise, a superb sounding effort.
One of the criticisms that this album received was that it was overproduced. I do not agree nor do I really hear that on the album. The production sits alright with me. Many different instruments are incorporated on Everclear, including the mandolin, dulcimer, accordion and banjo. This help add to the variety of sound and makes this album more enjoyable. With each track offering a different experience from the previous one, Everclear keeps my interest and provides an enjoyable listen every time. // 9
Lyrics: The lyrics were a highlight on this album. Mark Eitzel, lead singer of American Music Club, provides some of the most well written lyrics on Everclear. Fitting in with most songs from the slowcore/indie rock genre, this album contains serious, more depressing lyrics. They are written with a sense of maturity and taste. For example, the songs Ex-Girlfriend is about the new lover of a man's ex-girlfriend checking up on him because he's been down. The song Sick Of Food is about an AIDS sufferer who can no longer eat due to his medication. The music, while alternating between different styles on the album, manages to sound appropriate to the lyrical content of the current track. The lyrics and music compliment each other well throughout the album.
Mark Eitzel delivers each song perfectly. His deep voice provides the soothing and passionate style when it is needed in a song as well as a powerful and intense vocal style when that needs to be included. His range is impressive and knows how to add a personal touch to each song. I found there to be little problem with Mark Eitzel and his vocals. It accents each song appropriately and provide an excellent listening experience. Everclear contains some of the best lyrical and vocal work that I have heard on an album. From Why Won't You Stay to Jesus' Hands, Mark Eitzel pours his heart out and gives grade A quality lyricism and vocals. // 9
Overall Impression: Everclear by American Music Club is one of their most popular albums as well as one of their more critically acclaimed. Great musicianship, great sound and great lyrics make me agree with those claims. I prefer this album to other American Music Club albums. The variety that this album offers as well as great vocal work from Mark Eitzel have this album become one of my favourites. This album was released in 1991, and twenty years later, it still holds up as one of the best slowcore/indie rock albums out there.
Sick Of Food, Crabwalk and Jesus' Hands are my favourite tracks on the album and accentuate the talent that Mark Eitzel and the rest of American Music Club have. There is very little negative things I can say about this album. As I mentioned earlier, the flow of the album is not quite perfect, but other than that, there is not much else to complain about. The songwriting is top notched and any musician can appreciate what this album offers.
I got this album at a great price and it was well worth it. I would buy it again if it were lost or stolen in a heartbeat. This is an album that I am proud to have a part of my collection. This band is unfortunately not all that well known, so finding this album may be somewhat difficult. It is definitely worth a buy if you are a fan of indie rock or a fan of music in general. A great album I recommend everyone to check out. // 9