In case you’d forgotten, Smash Mouth was the band that gave us the annoyingly addictive pop tunes 1997’s ‘Walkin On The Sun’ and 1999’s ‘Allstar’. Both did well hitting the UK singles charts at 19 and 24 respectively.
Steve Harwell’s outfit succeeded in pummeling us with cute power pop melody and succinctly left field songs borne out of their Ska punk background. Indeed in many ways they sound very similar to Ska-Punk outfit Less than Jake on their more pop moments.
‘Magic’ is the band’s seventh release and their first in six years. 2012, somewhat bizarrely, also saw the release of the band’s rock cook book ‘Recipes From the Road’ which we sadly won’t be reviewing.
Unlike many albums released by bands after long hiatuses ‘Magic’ is actually a well worthwhile project.
Produced by Mike Krompass who also handles Nelly Furtado, ‘Magic’ will doubtless attract new admirers as well as pleasing established fans. Upbeat pop gems like opener ‘Perfect Planet’, the bluesy ‘Live To Love Another Day’ or the tongue in cheek bittersweet ‘Future X Wife’ are accessible without being derivative, whilst the humorous ‘Justin Bieber’-a look at things that went out of fashion-or the down tempo harmony soaked ‘Better With Time’ are of a high enough quality to suggest that Smash Mouth isn’t simply going through the motions. Throw in a cover of Simple Minds ‘Don’t You (Forget About Me)’ and a title track featuring hip hop star J.Dash and you’ve not only got an album that stands toe to toe with past releases but one that sounds relevant in 2013.