Semisonic: You’re Not Alone EP (Pleasuresonic Recordings/Megaforce) Review | Under the Radar - Music Magazine
Thursday, January 28th, 2021  

Semisonic

You’re Not Alone EP

Pleasuresonic Recordings/Megaforce

Oct 13, 2020 Web Exclusive Bookmark and Share


What began for Dan Wilson as yet another songwriting session for yet another globally known artist—this time Liam Gallagher—turned into a most unexpected return for Wilson’s alt-rock band Semisonic. You’re Not Alone is a new five-song set from Wilson, John Munson, and Jacob Slichter arriving nearly 20 years after the band’s previous release, All About Chemistry (2001).    

If you’ve lost touch with the band since their late-’90s heyday, centered around their chart-topping hit “Closing Time,” Wilson has continued an acclaimed solo career while maintaining his status as one of the industry’s most sought-after songwriters—with credits from Adele to Taylor Swift, John Legend to Andrew Bird. For this latest round with Gallagher (the charismatic former frontman for Oasis), the sessions didn’t work as planned. Instead, Wilson said they were the first cuts that actually made sense for a return to his alt-rock beginnings.    

Longtime Semisonic fans will appreciate the familiarity and immediacy of You’re Not Alone. Like Wilson and company’s previous work, these are straightforward power pop songs filled with hope, emptied of pretense. The arrangements are streamlined yet sturdy, from the propulsive “Basement Tapes” to the memorable title track. (You’ve missed these riffs, trust me.).   

“All It Would Take” is earnest in all the right ways—lamenting “dreams of change waste on the vine”—and best reveals Wilson’s songwriting chops. The piano-centric number slows the album’s energy a tad, but clocks in under three minutes. Its unflinching optimism grabs and then drops hold before you can decide what to do with it all. It’s also catchy as hell.

You’re Not Alone’s other tracks come and go as pleasant enough entries, but even as a short set, this EP is front-loaded. Still it’s fun to hear Semisonic return to their roots and find a meaningful way to kickstart an abandoned vehicle. (www.semisonic.com) 

Author rating: 6/10

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Average reader rating: 8/10



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