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Archive for the ‘Soul Asylum – Delayed Reaction’ Category

Soul Asylum – Delayed Reaction

Soul Asylum have slowly and steadily been releasing albums for the better part of three decades.  They all but disappeared from the musical landscape after 1995’s Let Your Dim Light Shine, and haven’t come close to the success of their opus Grave Dancer’s Union since.

Delayed Reaction marks their first album in six years since the largely underrated Silver Lining, and it showcases Soul Asylum’s talent for doing what they’ve always done best, writing catchy hook-lined songs.  Those songs are few and far between though on Delayed Reaction, and will get you yearning for the days of old when Dave Pirner was still strutting around in shredded jeans and flannels and didn’t wash his hair…he actually still does all that come to think of it.

The album takes a little bit from pretty much every part of Soul Asylum’s catalog, which makes for an interesting retrospective, but little else as far as an album is concerned.   The album has some early 80’s post-punk tracks like Gravity, Your Generation and Leave This Town, driven by ex-Replacements bass player Tommy Stinson’s rock solid bassline.  That doesn’t make for great songs however, just makes me nostalgic for something that doesn’t exist here.   By the Way is the closest thing you’ll hear to some of the blockbuster hits that Soul Asylum is known for in the past.

Soul Asylum is the epitome of the working horse band.  They’ve been touring for almost thirty years and have traded mega stadiums for small bars and street festivals, and the piano driven honky tonk jam The Juice may be the perfect song to showcase that road-worn talent.  The band has earned the right to make whatever music they want now.  They’ve sold millions of records already, and Delayed Reaction is not going to come close to those numbers, but the band knows that and frankly I don’t think they care.

I have all the respect in the world for Soul Asylum and Delayed Reaction has some great standout tracks, but overall the album comes off feeling dated, forced, and bloated at times, especially during songs like the orchestrated I Should’ve Stayed in Bed and an ill-placed and bizarre cover of The Beatles, Good Morning, Good Morning to end the album.  If you’re a fan of the band then you’ll enjoy hearing lead singer Dave Pirner’s voice once again, otherwise you may want to take a pass on this one.

Grade: C-