15 years ago it wasn't uncommon for American rock acts to chart in the upper echelons of the UK hit parade - Limp Bizkit were putting the nu in metal and Blink 182 were bringing punk to pop. Boston outfit American Hi-Fi released their debut in 2001, and whilst they somewhat got lost amongst the pack (they had a sole top 40 UK track); this release commemorates that first album.
Whereas anniversary re-issues used to be for seminal records, these days they come around more often than event days that boost the profits of Hallmark.
To their credit, American Hi-Fi have at least done something different - rather than re-package the original release with a few extras, they've re-recorded it acoustically, so at least fans aren't just getting the same thing again. The switch from an electric set up to something more organic results in 'Surround' losing some of its original bite, substituted instead for a mid-tempo sing-a-long. 'Flavour Of The Weak' remains an anthem, while 'I'm A Fool' is something of a rediscovered treasure. By far, the track that benefits most from a facelift is 'Another Perfect Day', evolving seamlessly from emo-rock power ballad to warming campfire number. This is largely down to involving Kay Hanley on shared vocals, which works a treat for a song which has been progressed from the original teen audience it targeted. Indeed, this may have been the idea all along for an album which, let's face it, hardly created a legacy. By re-recording it in a more mature style, it may recapture fans of the original that have grown up, as it is executed as well as it could be.
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