Picks and Pans Review: 'Smash Mouth'

Smash Mouth (Interscope)

Album of the week

Although Smash Mouth’s self-titled third disc is dedicated to lead singer Steve Harwell’s son Presley Scott—who, at 6 months, died of complications from leukemia last July—this is no pity party. The pop-rock quartet—which is rounded out by guitarist Greg Camp, bassist Paul De Lisle and new drummer Michael Urbano (replacing original member Kevin Coleman, who left the group because of severe back problems)—rebounds with renewed spirit on this decidedly upbeat collection. In addition to Smash Mouth’s terrific cover of the Monkees’ “I’m a Believer” (originally featured on the Shrek soundtrack but also included here), such numbers as “Holiday in My Head” and “The In Set” demonstrate the band’s engaging penchant for sharp hooks and ’60s psychedelia. Harwell, a former rapper, is still no great singer, but his thin voice actually works to his advantage here: These light and lively songs would crumble under the weight of a more powerful voice.

Bottom Line: Mouth-watering

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