Songs From an American Movie Vol. One: Learning How to Smile Image

Mixed or average reviews - based on 16 Critics What's this?

User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 9 Ratings

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Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 8 out of 16
  2. Negative: 4 out of 16
  1. While love- and life-torn Alexakis might lyrically be working familiar terrain here, he has the smarts to place his odes to abuse and regret into an intriguing assortment of different contexts, making this album well worth listening to
  2. It's almost silly to accouse An American Movie of being overproduced, because string-driven flights of fancy and studio gloss are simply what successful well-adjusted nice-guy bands do on their third album. [#146, p.89]
  3. The band has introduced cleanser and furniture polish into the summer cleaning, sweeping away the rough edges and brightening up the melodies, which results in the group's best-sounding album to date.
  4. "Learning How to Smile" has compelling subject matter in its reminiscence of love among the white trash ruins, but its climactic strings and cheery chords feel like a theme song to the latest WB teen-sex drama.
  5. 50
    While convincingly earnest and certainly ambitious, the result is formulaic, and lacks the free-wheelin', soulful magic of the original
  6. It vacillates between insignificant fluff and confessional songs that have nothing new to confess.
  7. 20
    There are many things in life worth avoiding... But none can compare to the horrific spectacle of Everclear attempting to lighten up and show the world their jolly side. [Sep 2000, p.112]

See all 16 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 4 out of 6
  2. Negative: 1 out of 6
  1. j30
    Feb 1, 2012
    A change for the worse. Maybe So Much For The Afterglow got to Everclear's head a little bit not knowing where to head next. How I miss the Sparkle and Fade days. Expand

See all 6 User Reviews