Album Review: Smash Mouth’s “Magic”

By on September 12, 2012

After waiting six years for the reveal of Smash Mouth’s new album, “Magic,” it’s easy to say that longtime fans won’t be disappointed. Even with a slightly altered style, including the featured rapper, J. Dash, in two of the songs, Smash Mouth maintains its easy, breezy, organ-fueled jams throughout the album.

“Live to Love Another Day,” “Flippin’ Out” and “Future Ex Wife” could all be mistaken for songs straight off “Astro Lounge,” the band’s second album, released in 1999. This introduced its hits “All Star,” “Then The Morning Comes,” and “Can’t Get Enough of You Baby.”

The group went against this summer’s pattern of single-song releases, from bands like Green Day with “Oh Love,” The Killers with “Runaways,” and Mumford and Sons’ “I Will Wait.” Smash Mouth went with 34 minutes of upbeat vocals, quirky keyboards, and smooth guitar riffs that make you wish this summer never ended.

In the past, Smash Mouth has been criticized as a one-hit-wonder group, and even forgotten about before its tour this summer. Considering the band’s long break, it was surprising that “Magic” wasn’t promoted by its record label or the band. If it wasn’t for iTunes, people probably wouldn’t have heard about the new record.

Another surprise: in the middle of its album, the band attempted a slow, acoustic ballad titled “Out of Love,” which felt slightly out of place. It shouldn’t be skipped, however. It is just a way to break up the set.

A better ending to the album would have been its original song, “The Game,” one of the best songs off the record. Instead, the group’s remake of Simple Minds’ “Don’t You (Forget About Me)” ends it off. Nevertheless, Smash Mouth always knows how to keep the party going, even over half a decade later. This new release will please the die-hard fans and new listeners.

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