Metascore
57

Mixed or average reviews - based on 16 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 8 out of 16
  2. Negative: 4 out of 16
  1. Alternative Press
    80
    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]
  2. As the album unfolds, certain themes of regret, sadness, and longing run to the surface, but they're all coated in glittering pop melodies and big rock riffs that mask the emotions of the songs.... their best, most consistent effort to date...
  3. 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
  4. The new album is looser in the rhythm, has less wall of slash, relatively more lilt and funk, and more variety in the sound ... but in general the music is too diffuse.
  5. 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.
  6. Everclear's first collection since 1997's "So Much For The Afterglow" is an unabashed love letter to the '70s, when AM radio still ruled and pop music was simple, good fun.
  7. 70
    He has created a record that fully embraces the inclinations we all sometimes have to find a tune with strong enough melody to hum through the day.
  8. The arrangements lurch from unplugged folksiness to orchestrated Sinatraesque balladeering to faux late-period Beach Boys. When he's backed by acoustic guitars and mandolins and creating a back-porch ambiance, Alexakis could be a cut-rate Steve Earle. But none of these gimmicks can obscure the reality that the melodies are once again a drab, uninspiring lot.
  9. Checkout.com
    60
    "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.
  10. Songs From an American Movie sounds orchestral and homespun at once: Lustrous, fancy strings on one song give way to a slap-happy ukulele on the next. Yet it's too much of both and not enough of either.
  11. 50
    While convincingly earnest and certainly ambitious, the result is formulaic, and lacks the free-wheelin', soulful magic of the original
  12. 40
    It's unfortunate, then, that most of Vol.1 winds up sounding like rejected Aerosmith ballads. Which is to say, epic, overproduced anthems made to accompany Ben Affleck anthropomorphizing animal crackers on Liv Tyler's stomach.
  13. It wants a hit so bad -- wants to be so many things to so many people -- that you can feel the songs audibly buckling from all the promises it doles out.
  14. 20
    The punky edge to the band has been all but jettisoned, in favor of slick production, orchestral backdrops, and cloying melodies that render even the occasionally dark lyrics (mostly about divorce this time) surprisingly limp.
  15. It vacillates between insignificant fluff and confessional songs that have nothing new to confess.
  16. Select
    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]
User Score
7.1

Generally favorable reviews- based on 9 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 7 out of 9
  2. Negative: 1 out of 9
  1. j30
    Feb 1, 2012
    5
    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 theA 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. Full Review »
  2. daven
    Sep 22, 2006
    7
    Someone once told me that they thought all of Everclear's songs sounded the same. That person has obviously never listened to their CDs Someone once told me that they thought all of Everclear's songs sounded the same. That person has obviously never listened to their CDs in their entirety. "World of Noise" was their best best Screaming Trees/Nirvana impression. The following "Sparkle and Fade" was them cleaning up their sound for a more mainstream grunge sound. "So Much for the Afterglow" incorporated pop for the first time into the mix. "Vol. 1" strips grunge in its entirety to result in a complete pop, almost Beatles-esque sound. The results are mostly good, with some tracks just not hitting home. This is no "So Much for the Afterglow" and "Sparkle and Fade" has a slight edge, but its still another solid release from a solid band. Full Review »
  3. LukeJ
    May 18, 2006
    10
    This album.. infact all everclear albums are awesome in thier own right. i am myself a muscian i an succeful band, and i feel that every This album.. infact all everclear albums are awesome in thier own right. i am myself a muscian i an succeful band, and i feel that every single song on this/all everyclear albums are totally clever in the writing and performance.. apart from two tracks that i feel should never of made thier discography.. but im not gonna go into the bad. this album has given me many a good listen and will till the day i die. the lyrics are potent and real, the music compliments the mood and each song takes you on a journey. Those who put down everclear for part 1 and 2 of this album are simpletons and do not realise what everclear was trying to achieve. where can you go after such success? they were trying something different. and personally i commend thier efforts. if you are looking for a great album full of emotion and personal experience to make you feel your not the only person who hurts and wants things to change in this world. then this is the album for you. its my life all over, it will most probably be yours. i just hope that everclear arnt dead forever. Full Review »