Opening with a quick crunch of guitar, ‘In the Beginning’ possesses a charming floaty melody that makes for perfect sunny afternoon listening. It is an encouraging pull of a song which – with its muffled trumpet – attempts to coax you out of your shell, telling you to “Pull yourself up by the straps of your overalls” and grasp hold of life. ‘Got It Pretty Good’ is another upbeat song that features pounding drums and a choppy riff, the chorus providing a good opportunity of an earworm. Some of the lyrics are almost laughed-out, perhaps hinting that the situation the song was written about is laughable and the line “I’m doing just fine” does sound like someone is determined to convince themselves. Even the midway guitar solo in this track seems to mimic the tune that has just been sung.
There are some classic ‘90s-era Soul Asylum feels on this album with ‘Make her Laugh’ – a gentle feel-good song featuring strong electric acoustic guitar moments – ‘Social Butterfly’ which gently and steadily paints a picture of someone who is really trying to find the courage to say the right thing when they would really rather just hide and ‘Here We Go’ with its happy guitar tune that bounces you through with a loving message “If I could be anywhere, I wish I were with you.”
There are more melancholy moments and stunning gravelly tones that sweep you up in ‘If I Told You’ which seems to be a song of wanting to reveal hidden feelings but being scared to. The electric guitar solo mid-way through the track feels beautifully heartfelt. Whilst ‘Silent Treatment’ takes you on a magical, mythical stroll with its twinkly start and lyrics involving mermaids, unicorns, and dragons. The tune is pretty and the voice beautiful but the general message is that “no one really, really cares.” ‘Silly Things’ is like a full-on musical apology. A stark realization that life is nothing without love. Coolness means nothing. Trouble isn’t worth it and we need to act responsibly because the consequences of doing stupid things are hard to deal with. The guitar solo in this song is echoey and smooth, the vocals strong and clear.
A more experimental aspect of the album is ‘Dead Letter.’ A guitar note is held for the intro but this track quickly turns in to an almost sea-shanty/ folk song. There are drums and bass guitar too but the focus is on the strummed guitar and the lyrical tale. Whereas the ‘80’s rock vibe of ‘Busy Signals’ also adds a fun touch. Full of interesting drum fills and with parts of the lyrics sung through a megaphone for a phone-line effect.
The unmistakable voice of Dave Pirner is evident throughout this 13-track album. He has the ability to hit you with calm smooth tones, to caution you with vocal scowls or to totally outfox you with those shy, gently-cracking elements as he delivers his words to your ears.
If you’re looking for a pleasant album full of harmonious vocals and life-experience, easy-going sing-song melodies and interesting varied styles, then you’ve landed in the right place.
NEW ALBUM HURRY UP and WAIT OUT APRIL 17
DAVE PIRNER’S NEW BOOK “LOUD, FAST, WORDS” OUT MARCH 17
Preorder here – http://lnk.soulasylum.com/
If I Told You
Got It Pretty Good
Make Her Laugh
Here We Go
Hopped Up Feelin’