Everlast - Songs For The Ungrateful Living Review
Posted by Bill Wannop on 11.01.2011
Everlast released his latest album, Songs For The Ungrateful Living, which has a more country, blues type of sound. Does the new sound manage to continue the solo career of Everlast, or is he reaching the end?
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To say that Everlast has had a storied career would be an understatement. He was the front man for the hip hop group House of Pain which had one of the biggest hip hop hits of all time in “Jump Around”. Everlast would debunk those critics labeling him a one hit wonder, by releasing the critically and commercially successful solo album Whitey Ford Sings The Blues, which completely put the hip hop sound on hold for a more rock type record. While Everlast has released other solo albums to less commercial acceptance he always manages to release records with a message and with the sound he wants. He has gone back to his hip hop roots with the group La Coka Nostra, and many fans thought that his latest solo release, Songs For The Ungrateful Living would follow that return to the more hip hop oriented sound. Everlast instead decided to create an album that is not rap, or rock, or country but some medley of all genres. Is it a welcome addition to Everlast fans collection?
1. "Long At All"
2. "Gone for Good"
3. "I Get By"
4. "Little Miss America"
5. "My House"
6. "Long Time"
7. "Friday the 13th"
8. "The Crown"
9. "Sixty-Five Roses"
11. "The Rain"
12. "Some Of Us Pray"
13. "I'll Be There for You"
14. "Even God Don't Know"
15. "A Change Is Gonna Come"
The album’s first track, “Long At All”, really has Everlast putting everything on the table from the get go, as the song just features Everlast with his raspy voice coupled with his guitar, laying down a mellow track, which really puts the listener into the right frame of mind for the album. The album moves into a more upbeat track with “Gone For Good”, which has Everlast moving up his pace a bit, but be forewarned, even the upbeat tracks on this album are not likely to get the party jumping.
Everlast always manages to touch on topics of social importance, and to say that Everlast is not lyrical would be an outright crime; Everlast manages to create vivid imagery with his words. Painting pictures of the soldiers returning from war in “Little Miss America”, as well how he deals with his issues of raising a child with a congenital disease on “65 Roses”. Everlast really manages to bring you into his world, and lets you feel the pain and emotion of the songs.
Old school fans of Everlast or fans of his more hip hop style in La Coka Nostra or House of Pain will likely not find much to please them on this album, as the only real elements of hip hop come in the form of the chorus of “I Get By”, and potentially “MoneyMaker” and “The Rain”, although classifying them as hip hop would be a bit of a stretch. In fact, even the more rock sound that Everlast may be known for is also somewhat absent from the album, with Everlast displaying a much more country/blues medley of sound. “The Crown” is a straight country song, complete with its twang chorus, while tracks like “My House” and “Friday The 13th” are more of a country/blues mixture.
While it is often encouraged for artists to expand their sound and experiment with new sounds, Everlast may be painting himself into a corner by being too diverse. There is simply no way to classify him into a specific genre of music which may simply alienate some of his fans. Some fans may not like the country/blues direction this album goes in, and may only like 2 or 3 tracks on the album, while the country crowd may not fully buy into this new ‘country’ Everlast, knowing him from his previous works. Everlast may even touch on this in the final track of the album “Change Gone Come”.
The end result is a mixture of sounds, all of which are decent, but none of which is really exceptional. Everlast managed to do a bunch of things well, instead of focusing on doing one or two things great. There is no doubt that Everlast marches to the beat of his own drum, and makes the music he wants to make, it just may be that no everyone is going to like all his tunes.
The 411: Everlast returns with his latest solo album and managed to completely change his sound again, opting for a more country/blues type record.he end result is a mixture of sounds, all of which are decent, but none of which is really exceptional. Everlast managed to do a bunch of things well, instead of focusing on doing one or two things great.