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Rock - Released January 1, 2005 | Interscope

Ask anyone who was there in the halcyon days of Y2K what it was like, what it was really like, to live through the changing of the millennium, and they'll answer you this: you couldn't escape that damned "All Star" song. Anywhere you turned -- radio, TV, movies, movie trailers, advertisements, sports games -- all you heard was Smash Mouth's irrepressible ode to clueless losers, a self-empowerment anthem for the ignorant and entitled (really, it was a tune ahead of its time, since it easily could have been mood music for the Paris Hilton era). For a couple of years there, Smash Mouth seemed ubiquitous, though in retrospect they only had a few big hits: "All Star," its peerless predecessor "Walkin' on the Sun," "Then the Morning Comes," and "Diggin' Your Scene," plus covers of Let's Active's "Every Word Means No," the Four Seasons/Fun Boy Three's "Can't Get Enough of You Baby," and the Monkees' "I'm a Believer." That's more than most bands have, but doesn't quite explain why it seemed as if Smash Mouth were impossible to shake for a few years at the turn of the millennium. Then, a closer inspection of the liner notes to their first hits collection, All Star Smash Hits (well, what else was it going to be called?), reveals an answer. There are songs from the following movies and soundtracks on this comp: Mystery Men, Baseketball, Snow Day, Can't Hardly Wait, Friends Again, How the Grinch Stole Christmas, Me Myself & Irene, Pacific Coast Highway, Shrek, Austin Powers: Goldmember, and The Cat in the Hat. That's more than half of this generous 20-track collection, and it doesn't even come close to representing all of the soundtracks and collections featuring Smash Mouth -- it misses such gems as Another Rosie Christmas, 2000's Digimon soundtrack, Jailbait! Music from the MTV Original TV Movie, 2001's Rat Race, 2002's Clockstoppers, 2003's The Jungle Book 2. No wonder they seemed like they were everywhere: they were! They seemed to accept any offer that came their way, including gigs like, say, Radio Disney, that most bands would be happy to leave behind. But, no, Smash Mouth happily took the work, becoming pop culture white noise in the process -- music that was easy to tune out while still registering subconsciously. To be given so many opportunities to sell out the band had to be good enough -- good enough to sell their hooks, but not distinctive enough to cause waves. All Star Smash Hits proves that the group was indeed good enough, arguably better than Sugar Ray, their closest rival among SoCal ska-punk/metal bands to shamelessly grab the brass ring. Sugar Ray rocked harder and were more diverse, but Smash Mouth found their groove -- a summery update on pre-Beatles frat rock as learned via Animal House, early-'80s T&A movies, and new wave -- early on and then stayed in it, aided by Greg Camp's lean, tuneful, hooky songwriting and good taste in covers. They didn't have any real standouts apart from those aforementioned hits, but they always delivered cheerful, relaxed party music that makes the time go by smoothly and speedily. They never made a bad album, but they hardly made a memorable one, either, and that applies to this hits compilation. It's far better than cynics would suspect -- and it's surely nice to have all the big hits in one place, even if smaller singles like the Neil Diamond-written "You Are My Number One" are missing (maybe that didn't make the cut because 25 was the closest it got to number one on the charts) -- and it's always good-hearted fun, but it's also too long, which makes it less memorable as a whole. So it's a bit like summer itself -- wondrous at first, so good that you wish it would never end, but by its conclusion, you're ready for the fall. Such an arc is appropriate for a band that provided the soundtrack for every summer between 1997 and 2001. [A couple of other fun things about All Star Smash Hits. Seven of the 20 songs are covers. Head songwriter Greg Camp is billed as Gregory Camp for all the selections from their debut but Greg Camp for everything else --- which is kind of strange, because songwriters usually get pompous and use their full name after they have success (music reviewers, on the other hand, start out pompous, using their full names from the get-go).] © Stephen Thomas Erlewine /TiVo
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Pop - Released January 1, 1999 | Interscope

Based on their infectious summer single "Walking on the Sun," it was easy to dismiss Smash Mouth as a one-hit wonder, since it was hard to believe that they'd be able to top that sun-kissed delight that was easily the highlight of their debut, Fush Yu Mang. Perhaps that's why their second record, Astro Lounge, feels like such a surprise, since it carries through on the promise of "Walking on the Sun." Like Sugar Ray -- a fellow veteran of the ska-punk underworld who delivered a follow-up that owed more to melodic pop and new wave than its hit predecessor -- Smash Mouth have created an album that is unabashedly fun, catchy, and lightweight, the ideal music for a car radio or a day at the beach. It's true that nothing on Astro Lounge is as immediately grabbing as "Walking on the Sun," but every song shares the same party-ready mentality and irresistible, trashy AM-radio vibe. No, nothing on Astro Lounge is particularly deep, but it's all good fun and it never disappoints -- which is quite a remarkable feat, since one-hit wonders rarely deliver a second album that betters their first. © Stephen Thomas Erlewine /TiVo
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Alternative & Indie - Released July 8, 1997 | Interscope

The groovy, '60s soul-funk of "Walking on the Sun" disguises the fact that Smash Mouth isn't much more than a run-of-the-mill ska-punk band and that their debut, Fush Yu Mang, isn't much more than an average modern rock album. With its organ riff and breezy melody, "Walking on the Sun" is a great one-shot single, yet Smash Mouth never comes close to replicating its easy charm anywhere on Fush Yu Mang. They sound clumsy when they rock, and their up-tempo numbers never quite catch fire. There are some moments that'll satisfy third wave ska revival fans, but anyone hooked in by the single will find the album disappointing. © Stephen Thomas Erlewine /TiVo
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Alternative & Indie - Released January 1, 2012 | 429 Records

Smash Mouth's fondness of -- and talent for -- novelties tends to obscure their other sunkissed gifts, how they have a knack for creating a soundtrack for an endless summer. Magic, the group's first album since 2006 -- they split after the release of Summer Girl but it sounds like they never went away -- is hampered ever so slightly by those novelties, as the group takes an easy swipe at "Justin Bieber" (it's never a good idea for a group pegged by some as a one-hit wonder to take a potshots at another) and does a by-the-numbers cover of Simple Minds' "Don't You (Forget About Me)," a couple of cuts that play into all the negative stereotypes of the bands. And that's what makes the rest of Magic a bit of a surprise: it's as effortlessly effervescent as anything else Smash Mouth has ever released, filled with grooving, organ-fueled beach party anthems. Smash Mouth may stumble slightly when they strive for a power ballad -- "Out of Love," arriving halfway through the record, has a solid, sweeping chorus that the band doesn't quite pull off -- but their traditional blend of '60s garage rock and '80s new wave still provides a breezy good time on "Perfect Planet," "Live to Love Another Day," "Magic," and "Future X Wife." Perhaps it won't change the mind of the haters, but those fans who have stayed true to the SoCal popsters will undoubtedly be pleased. © Stephen Thomas Erlewine /TiVo
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Electronic/Dance - Released August 23, 2019 | Interscope

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Pop - Released January 1, 2001 | Interscope

Smash Mouth is easy to like and easy to hate, depending on your point of view. It's easy to see why some listeners could get irritated at their incandescent, irrepressibly sunny sound, especially if it's pounded out on the radio endlessly; so it seems like every station has adopted "All Star" as their personal signature. But it's easy to love them for the reason they got to that status: their effortless way of updating classic frat rock to sound breezy, hip, and fun, thanks to their healthy love of surf and new wave. They do this best on their singles, of course -- unless they're covering a straight-up oldies like the Monkees' "I'm a Believer," which is simply too predictable; they're much better when they're tackling Let's Active ("Every Word Means No") or the Four Seasons via Fun Boy Three ("Can't Get Enough of You, Babe") -- but they can be just as endearing on their album cuts, as their strong, eponymous third effort shows. There are no new tricks here by any stretch (except the sub-Blur electronic piss-take "Keep It Down"), but it's all done sharply, melodically, and happily. If you've grooved on Smash Mouth's singles and want more of the same, this delivers reliably, which may be an unadorned pleasure for some and a guilty one for others. © Stephen Thomas Erlewine /TiVo
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Rock - Released July 28, 2017 | Interscope

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Pop - Released January 1, 2003 | Interscope

By the time Smash Mouth released their fourth album, Get the Picture?, in the summer of 2003, they were nearly an American summer institution. Every two years or so, they would have an effervescent, cheerfully lightweight single that dominated the airwaves all summer and well into the fall, with an equally fizzy, catchy album to back it up. On their third album, they stumbled somewhat, at least in terms of sales, which may be due to a lack of songs as undeniable as "All Star," "Walking on the Sun," or "Till the Morning Comes," or it could be because it came out in November, and winter just isn't the time for this quintessentially Californian band. Get the Picture? also lacks an undeniable single, or even a standout track for that matter -- Neil Diamond was even drafted in for "You Are My Number One," to no avail -- but it doesn't really matter, because the mood is bright, the tone is bright, and the music sounds sunny. If nothing really catches hold as a song, there's still a lot of tuneful, appealing material here, and it functions well as a party album for those hot days of summer. Whether it will be remembered beyond that is another matter entirely, but once again Smash Mouth delivers a soundtrack for the summer. They're reliable, and that's a point in their favor. © Stephen Thomas Erlewine /TiVo
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Alternative & Indie - Released June 29, 2018 | Interscope

The groovy, '60s soul-funk of "Walking on the Sun" disguises the fact that Smash Mouth isn't much more than a run-of-the-mill ska-punk band and that their debut, Fush Yu Mang, isn't much more than an average modern rock album. With its organ riff and breezy melody, "Walking on the Sun" is a great one-shot single, yet Smash Mouth never comes close to replicating its easy charm anywhere on Fush Yu Mang. They sound clumsy when they rock, and their up-tempo numbers never quite catch fire. There are some moments that'll satisfy third wave ska revival fans, but anyone hooked in by the single will find the album disappointing. © Stephen Thomas Erlewine /TiVo
CD$12.99

Alternative & Indie - Released September 4, 2012 | Savoy

Smash Mouth's fondness of -- and talent for -- novelties tends to obscure their other sunkissed gifts, how they have a knack for creating a soundtrack for an endless summer. Magic, the group's first album since 2006 -- they split after the release of Summer Girl but it sounds like they never went away -- is hampered ever so slightly by those novelties, as the group takes an easy swipe at "Justin Bieber" (it's never a good idea for a group pegged by some as a one-hit wonder to take a potshots at another) and does a by-the-numbers cover of Simple Minds' "Don't You (Forget About Me)," a couple of cuts that play into all the negative stereotypes of the bands. And that's what makes the rest of Magic a bit of a surprise: it's as effortlessly effervescent as anything else Smash Mouth has ever released, filled with grooving, organ-fueled beach party anthems. Smash Mouth may stumble slightly when they strive for a power ballad -- "Out of Love," arriving halfway through the record, has a solid, sweeping chorus that the band doesn't quite pull off -- but their traditional blend of '60s garage rock and '80s new wave still provides a breezy good time on "Perfect Planet," "Live to Love Another Day," "Magic," and "Future X Wife." Perhaps it won't change the mind of the haters, but those fans who have stayed true to the SoCal popsters will undoubtedly be pleased. © Stephen Thomas Erlewine /TiVo
CD$12.99

Ambient/New Age - Released October 30, 2012 | Savoy

Coming two years after their fourth studio album, 2003's Get the Picture?, Smash Mouth delivered their first holiday-themed album with 2005's The Gift of Rock. Still featuring the California band's high-energy, somewhat retro-sounding punk-pop sound, The Gift of Rock primarily features a few classic and some lesser-known holiday cover songs. Included are cuts by such artists as the Kinks, Louis Armstrong, the Sonics, and others. These are fun, somewhat novelty-oriented songs that fit well next to Smash Mouth's own material. In fact, cuts like Smash Mouth's reworking of the Ramones' "Merry Christmas, I Don't Want to Fight Tonight" and especially the group's exuberant take on the Royal Guardsmen's 1967 cult classic "Snoopy's Christmas" are gleeful, garage rock-style holiday anthems that should appeal to both longtime Smash Mouth fans and anyone who loves left-of-center Christmas songs. © Matt Collar /TiVo
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Rap/Hip-Hop - Released November 1, 2018 | Oglio Records

CD$16.49

Alternative & Indie - Released January 1, 2012 | 429 Records

Booklet
Smash Mouth's fondness of -- and talent for -- novelties tends to obscure their other sunkissed gifts, how they have a knack for creating a soundtrack for an endless summer. Magic, the group's first album since 2006 -- they split after the release of Summer Girl but it sounds like they never went away -- is hampered ever so slightly by those novelties, as the group takes an easy swipe at "Justin Bieber" (it's never a good idea for a group pegged by some as a one-hit wonder to take a potshots at another) and does a by-the-numbers cover of Simple Minds' "Don't You (Forget About Me)," a couple of cuts that play into all the negative stereotypes of the bands. And that's what makes the rest of Magic a bit of a surprise: it's as effortlessly effervescent as anything else Smash Mouth has ever released, filled with grooving, organ-fueled beach party anthems. Smash Mouth may stumble slightly when they strive for a power ballad -- "Out of Love," arriving halfway through the record, has a solid, sweeping chorus that the band doesn't quite pull off -- but their traditional blend of '60s garage rock and '80s new wave still provides a breezy good time on "Perfect Planet," "Live to Love Another Day," "Magic," and "Future X Wife." Perhaps it won't change the mind of the haters, but those fans who have stayed true to the SoCal popsters will undoubtedly be pleased. © Stephen Thomas Erlewine /TiVo
CD$1.99

Alternative & Indie - Released October 25, 2019 | Oglio Records

CD$1.49

Alternative & Indie - Released September 4, 2012 | Savoy

CD$12.99

Alternative & Indie - Released January 1, 2012 | 429 Records

Smash Mouth's fondness of -- and talent for -- novelties tends to obscure their other sunkissed gifts, how they have a knack for creating a soundtrack for an endless summer. Magic, the group's first album since 2006 -- they split after the release of Summer Girl but it sounds like they never went away -- is hampered ever so slightly by those novelties, as the group takes an easy swipe at "Justin Bieber" (it's never a good idea for a group pegged by some as a one-hit wonder to take a potshots at another) and does a by-the-numbers cover of Simple Minds' "Don't You (Forget About Me)," a couple of cuts that play into all the negative stereotypes of the bands. And that's what makes the rest of Magic a bit of a surprise: it's as effortlessly effervescent as anything else Smash Mouth has ever released, filled with grooving, organ-fueled beach party anthems. Smash Mouth may stumble slightly when they strive for a power ballad -- "Out of Love," arriving halfway through the record, has a solid, sweeping chorus that the band doesn't quite pull off -- but their traditional blend of '60s garage rock and '80s new wave still provides a breezy good time on "Perfect Planet," "Live to Love Another Day," "Magic," and "Future X Wife." Perhaps it won't change the mind of the haters, but those fans who have stayed true to the SoCal popsters will undoubtedly be pleased. © Stephen Thomas Erlewine /TiVo