The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

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Everclear’s ‘Vegas Years’ surprises listeners with covers

Cover albums are a very difficult thing to pull off. It is said that the key to achievement with a cover record is to make the songs of others sound like your own.

Even with a formidable amount of popularity and a well defined fan base, there is always the possibility that a cover album will make or break the future of the band.

Everclear is a band that has gone through a succession of changes over the past decade, some bad and some good. But after a decade of making and adapting a sound all their own, I would be willing to say that this is a cover record that was not only welcomed but necessary.

A mixture of live and previously unrecorded material, “The Vegas Years” is the sound of a band that has come a long way from their time honored beginnings.

Many bands make cover albums to proclaim and make known the musical influences and artists that affected their early music making abilities. Everclear took the opportunity with “The Vegas Years” to do just that.

With a band like Everclear, and their distinct sound, one might be inclined to think that the covered artists would encumber only a small niche of alternative music; however this is not the case.

From Woodie Guthrie to The Go-Go’s, from Neil Young to Tom Petty; Everclear covers a slew of varying genres and artists that expose the band as both true lovers and makers of music.

The highlights of the album are the covering of older and lesser known tracks.

Of course there are many tracks on this album that many listeners of generation X would most likely recognize due to their preceeding decade-based popularity, such as “Rich Girl” by Hall ‘ Oats or even Cheap Trick’s “Southern Girl.”

For a contemporary band that is as well known as Everclear, to cover songs from a whole other era of music is meaningful in-and-of-itself. To cover a song such as “This Land Is Your Land” by depression-era folk hero Woodie Guthrie gives a younger generation the ability to appreciate a song that might have been forgotten otherwise.

Also, being able to cover songs like Tom Petty’s “American Girl” and give live vivacity to Tommy Tutone’s “867-5309(Jenny)” with their own staccato guitar driven vigor gives a whole new musical connotation to each song, respectively.

The point of a cover album in this listeners mind is to give the audience a glimpse into the inspirational spirit of the artist themselves.

As in history, it is important to know where we were in order to know where we are going. To try and properly conceptualize an artist whom you personally love and appreciate, it is important to know where they were coming from as makers of art.

A cover record is an inside look into the motivational impetus of the musicians you admire and listen to. There have been cover albums of great success and accomplishment and also cover albums that have made listeners regret giving so much respect to certain bands.

Certain bands that have successfully given the listeners the opportunity to see into their musical souls include artists such as Cat Power with her album aptly titled “The Covers Record” and Rage Against the Machine with their 2000 release “Renegades.”

The veritable triumph of the Everclear’s “The Vegas Years” lies in the fact that it is indeed an album that perfectly complements the purposeful nature that a cover record can embody. If you like Everclear and you care about why they play the music they play, then do yourself a favor and buy this album.

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