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Classic Album Review: Lit | Atomic

The smirking SoCal pop-punks begin to lose the spark on their third studio release.


This came out in 2001 – or at least that’s when I got it. Here’s what I said about it back then (with some minor editing):


On their 1999 major-label debut A Place in the Sun, these SoCal smirkers added a few new ingredients — notably smarty-pants lyrics and decent songcraft a la Elvis Costello — to the tired old power-popcore mix.

On this third album, though, things are starting to sound a tad formulaic at times. Singer A. Jay Popoff still has a deft way with a lyric (“I’m so addicted to you / And you’re such a dick to me”). But the music that goes with them doesn’t have the same hooky, winking wit, settling instead for a stereotypical fuzzy blanket of sugary guitars, carbonated harmonies and dancable beats. Things pick up with heavier mid-album fare like the STP-ish Drop D and the Queen-ly ’70s Slip. Ultimately, though, Atomic just fizzles. Back to the drawing board, boys.