Another Happy Ending

The Clarks

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Another Happy Ending Review

by Richie Unterberger

In 2002, it's a considerable feat for a guitar-based band who wants to appeal to the mainstream, as the Clarks evidently do, to craft a record with much apparent sincerity, and without adding commercial embellishments or self-conscious extremism in the hopes of jacking up their crossover odds. It's more commendable and consistent than inspiring, though. The group offers a set of reasonably tuneful straightforward rock balancing earnest wistfulness, heartland ethos, and sprinkles of roots flavorings that might gain them some acceptance (though not enthusiasm) among the No Depression crowd. Not many songs emerge as memorable standouts, but "Superstar" has more oomph and hooks than most, with its grainy lead vocal, declamatory power pop folk-rock guitar riffs, and unexpected turns of the melody. "Wasting Time" has a nice balance of wispy folk-rockish tune and judicious waves of reverb guitar, until the grandstanding nearly hard rock instrumental break anyway. "This Old House" puts some lyrical ambition into its depiction of how a house and its holdings don't seem the same after a lover's left, though it's not something to give Elvis Costello (whose My Aim Is True is mentioned in the song) pause to worry.

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