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Everclear

Slow Motion Daydream (Capitol)

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Art Alexakis thinks he's saying some profound shit. For years, the Everclear frontman prattled on and on about his hard-knock life, until he eventually christened himself a spokesperson for all the downtrodden, abused, and forgotten American kids. Thing is, his big statements really don't say much. The two-volume Songs From an American Movie (from 2000) aimed for high concept, but settled for failed ambition. On the new Slow Motion Daydream, he promises to get all political on our asses. Instead, we get "Volvo Driving Soccer Mom."

With a tired hook and an even more trite sentiment ("Where do all the porn stars go?"), the song exposes Alexakis's fatal flaw: He mistakenly believes his personal issues are everybody's personal issues. Not all of us are former drug-addicted sons of poverty-stricken single mothers, determined to expunge our crappy pasts through art (or would that be Art?).

The band occasionally latches onto something catchy -- like the spunky "Sunshine (That Acid Summer)" -- but it isn't anything you haven't heard before from Everclear. And it's not likely to be its last smile-through-the-pain tune. On Daydream's unnamed bonus track, Alexakis angles for a new position. "I hope you know that you are better than you think you are . . . I hope you know that you are never alone," he declares. Art Alexakis: Rock and roll's own Dr. Phil.

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