What saves it all from sinking into the over-romanticized, self-absorbed melancholia of, say, Billy Corgan, is that Alexakis refuses to take this as a reason to give up hope. His resolve to persevere in the face "of all the stupid things that I see" is the thematic thread that ties a very good album together. Having turned 40 last year, Alexakis is intent on instilling belief. On "Science Fiction, " he proposes, "Life is always getting better/For a while" and repeating over and over his desire to believe in this world, this life and the possibility of feeling all right.
Musically, the album rehashes Everclear's bag of tricks: crunchy riffs, soaring choruses, and a hook-heavy, orchestral approach that earned them a reputation as the Beach Boys of grunge. A nice mix of up-tempo and down-tempo tunes makes Daydream a better listen than 2000's twin albums Songs From an American Movie Vol. I & II, split as they were into pre- and post-divorce songs for a schizophrenic, monochromatic feel. Like 1998's standout So Much for the Afterglow, this album works as is, abetted by two soon-to-be radio staples, the insidiously catchy "I Want to Die a Beautiful Death," and the single "Volvo Driving Soccer Mom," a humorous anti-Republican screed that suggests what all the porn stars do when the lights go down.