Album Details

November 04, 2003
SpinART Records
Pop/Rock, Indie Rock, Alternative Country-Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock

Album Review

Clem Snide's Beautiful [EP] is built around the band's cover of Christina Aguilera's power ballad "Beautiful." A lot of indie bands, when doing a cover of a chart hit, will do it winkingly or archly; Clem Snide display no such distance. The group throw themselves into the performance like it was the best song ever written; Eef Barzelay delivers the words earnestly, like he was reciting bible verses at a revival meeting. The only problem is that the Linda Perry-composed tune is pretty rotten, the lyrics are trite and bland, and melody is non-existent. The band's originals are so ironic, literate, dynamic, and wonderful that this song just lies there like nothing much at all. Following "Beautiful" up with "All Green" -- one of the poignant highlights of the group's 2003 album, Soft Spot -- just points out what a bad song it really is, and a good version of a bad song is most often still a bad song, and a less than thrilling listening experience. The rest of the EP is made up of two unreleased originals, and one unreleased cover: a decent, understated version of the Velvet Underground's "I'll Be Your Mirror," recorded live on the radio in 2002. Of the two unreleased tracks, "Mike Galinsky" is the funniest, being a bit of a shaggy dog story about a high school classmate with asthma who ends up being a singer in a rock band, but "Nick Drake Tape," a pretty, country-folk ballad with an aching vocal from Barzelay, and nice acoustic musical backing, is much better. The Beautiful [EP] is not an essential purchase for any but the most devoted Clem Snide fans.
Tim Sendra, Rovi

Track Listing

  1. Beautiful
  2. All Green
  3. Mike Kalinsky
  4. I'll Be Your Mirror [Live]
  5. Nick Drake Tape [Live]