Considering I was not expecting much from Invisible Stars, Everclear’s eighth studio album, I came away pleasantly surprised after giving it a few listens the past week. You see, while Sparkle and Fade and So Much For the Afterglow were two of my favorite albums of the 90s, I’ve grown pretty indifferent towards the band in the past decade-plus. In that decade-plus, Art Alexakis stopped doing heroin, found God, started writing pop songs for Disney, went all Axl Rose on his bandmates, and stopped making good music. Then out of nowhere, Art got his groove back.
Invisible Stars plays out alot like Afterglow. Yeah it’s a poppy take on 90s alt-rock, but damn does it sound like Art is depressed again. The lyrics are very much those of man who is struggling through life, and whatever those reasons are (money, loss of stardom, general apathy), they work. The album really picks up steam after the lead single “Be Careful What You Ask For”, and shows the band hitting their stride on “Santa Ana Wind” and “I Am Better Without You”. The closer, “Promenade”, screams the longing for acceptance that made “Like a California King” such a fantastic song.
Is this a great album? No, and it most definitely pales in comparison to Everclear’s earlier work. With that being said Invisible Stars is very good, and it shows that Alexakis still has something left in the tank. After seeing the band a few months ago, I would have never assumed that to be the case. Check out the video for “Be Careful What You Ask For” here, and give Alexakis that one last shot he’s been begging for.