From the Vault...


"Sparkle And Fade"

© Capitol Records

Year of Release: 1994

track listing
  • Electra Made Me Blind
  • Heroin Girl
  • You Make Me Feel
    Like A Whore
  • Santa Monica
  • Summerland
  • Strawberry
  • Heartspark Dollarsign
  • The Twistinside
  • Her Brand New Skin
  • Nehalem
  • Queen Of The Air
  • Pale Green Stars
  • Chemimcal Smile
  • My Sexual Life

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    "Sparkle And Fade"

    Everclear, a band that had some good tunes. My favorite would have to be "AM Radio," and another one I like, is "Father Of Mine." This week, Everclear marks their debut on the WSVNRadio site, with their second album of their career, Sparkle And Face, released in 1995. This CD was in the used CDs section at Goodwill. So it's obvious, knowing of this band from the two songs mentioned, to get this, as it was from the beginning of their career. And once again, we go to our Goodwill Section of albums to review...) If you're more familiar with the two Everclear songs mentioned, Sparkle And Fade is quite different, as it started Everclear as having the sound of many bands would have in the 1990s. A new sound -- Grunge.

    "Electra Made Me Blind" kicks off the album, and it's hard hitting rock. Almost punk'ish? No, actually, it's Grunge, as in a band that would launch Grunge music with a force, and popularity - Nirvana. Continuing with this "new sound" of grunge, with "Heroin Girl." "You Make Me Feel Like A Whore" is another Grunge rock tune, not as fast driving as the first two tracks, but it's hard hitting rock. "Santa Monica" slows down the pace, yet it drives into another grunge rocker, and it works. The same for "Summerland," another song that increases into a steady rocking grunge tune.

    "Strawberry" is another Nirvana-ish grunge, yet lead singer Art Alexakis' voice is rougher. "Heartspark Dollarsign" another good rocker. "The Twistinside" is another slow-paced tune at first, then gradually increases as grunge rocking tunes turn into. Definitely Nirvana'ish hard rock grunge. "Her Brand New Skin" keeps the hard rock grunge going, likewise "Nehalem," and "Queen Of The Air." "Pale Green Stars" is a cool grunge rocker. "Chemical Smile" is fast, hard hitting, hard rock grunge. "My Sexual Life" is the last track, starting out slow-paced, and continues that way, compared to the other heavy hitter tunes.

    Sparkle And Fade would achieve four hits: "Heroin Girl," "Santa Monica," "Heartspark Dollarsign," and "You Make Me Feel Like A Whore." Yet I never heard of these tunes at the time, nor have I heard of Everclear, until "AM Radio" and "Father Of Mine" would become later hits for them, from future albums -- So Much For The Afterglow (1997; their third album; "Father Of Mine"), and Songs From An American Movie Vol. One: Learning How To Smile (2000; their fourth albuml "AM Radio.") By 1995, both bands Nirvana and Pearl Jam were dominating the Grunge Rock music movement, as they had been popular since 1991 -- (Nirvana, with their Nevermind album, and Pearl Jam's album Ten.

    Sparkle And Fade is definitely different than the two songs I was familiar with. In the 1990s had a new sound in Rock -- Grunge. With Grunge bands Nirvana and Pearl Jam becoming popular, other bands would follow the Grunge road. Everclear's Sparkle And Fade is definitely Grunge. Hard hitting rock Grunge. It would be the beginning of Everclear, being their second album. World Of Noise was their first on an independent label. It was more like a demo. Sparkle And Fade was the band's major label release, and World Of Noise was rereleased a year later on Captiol, in 1994. The language in this album's lyrics are definitely of "parental advisory." It has very adult (foul) language, as the album's music tells lyrics of addiction, and romance. THey are loosely defined in Art Alexakis' own issues, when he was younger, in his twenties. (He was 33 at the time of this album's release.)

    For fans of Grunge Rock, Sparkle And Fade is a good album. It's adult, it's hard hitting, it's Grunge music (or some would call it Alternative Rock). Grunge was becoming the "in" and "new" popular music at the time. Grunge made it's mark on Rock music, as it was due for a new sound. Sparkle And Fade does sparkle, yet you can say it faded over time. Everclear would record more mainstream, and thanks to MTV, they would become more popular. "AM Radio" and "Father Of Mine" would not be as loud, and not having vulgar lyrics. They say "you had to start somewhere." Sparkle And Fade is that, where Everclear started as Grunge, and would develop into something better.

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    Previous Review: #1755
    Various Artists--From The Vaults: Decca Country Classics 1934-1973
    Next Review: #1757
    Bruce Springsteen--18 Tracks