An album doesn’t have to be a good album for it to mean something to you. It doesn’t always take greatness.
At a point in time, somewhere between gaining my own consciousness and gaining my own autonomy, Everclear’s Sparkle and Fade album really spoke to me. I’ve listened to it recently, out of curiosity. While I wouldn’t say that its an absolute embarrassment as I would if I had to tell you I liked some of their later offerings, I wouldn’t say that its great music. I might hesitate at good even. Its a couple of chords, repetitive simple riffs, and vocals that, in hindsight, really really do follow a pattern – yeah.
But at that time- post alt rock, pre metal for me – thrashing my head to those word meant something. The words “Sparkle and Fade” scrawled across the disc were a tribute to the little pieces of feeling that even then I could feel flying through my finger tips. Even now, I wanted to end that sentance with the quote “so alive, more alive..” but I don’t think enough people are familiar enough with Everclear lyrics to make it a good reference.
I can’t really tell you if those lyrics are any good, because I can’t evaluate them without the bias of knowing that they were the words I assigned to thoughts long ago. I think that they are better than whatever album with Father of Mine on it that made me wash my hands of Everclear. But I suspect they aren’t that good. But when I was a kid, caught in the holding pattern of a different time, restless-ambitious-apathetic… those words and the way you could sing them were it. When he promised that we “could do the things, all the things you wanna do..” or “get lost in the fall glimmer sparkle and fade” or “swim out past the breakers, watch the world die”… I said “yes, please”. I wanted to do that.
I didn’t see LA until I was almost 25, almost 10 years after id given a damn about Everclear. But when I wrote that I had seen the places that all the songs and jeans were named after, I was thinking of Santa Monica (and all the Hollister Hermosas I had folded in some back room, but that’s another thought).
Its reassuring in a way that it doesn’t always take greatness to make a song resound. I can’t let those songs play, if ever my ipod goes to an obscure spot on the hard drive. But I do sometimes pick out just a name on the map and think “sounds like heaven to me.”