Semisonic: Little Bit of Sun (Pleasuresonic Recordings) - review | Under the Radar Magazine Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
Monday, June 17th, 2024  


Little Bit of Sun

Pleasuresonic Recordings

Nov 02, 2023 Web Exclusive Bookmark and Share

Semisonic frontman Dan Wilson wrote some of the catchiest pop rock melodies of the late ‘90s, not the least of which was 1998’s seemingly omnipresent smash single “Closing Time.” Since the band’s last full length album, 2001’s All About Chemistry, Wilson has cemented himself as a co-writer of more hits than you probably realize. He’s worked with Adele, The Chicks, Chris Stapleton, Taylor Swift, and Mitski, to name only a very few, and has racked up more than one Grammy Award for his efforts.

Now, Wilson and his band are back with Little Bit of Sun, Semisonic’s first album in more than 20 years. And starting with the title track, an uplifting slice of melodic bliss, it is apparent that Semisonic has just picked up where it left off.

“Grow Your Own” finds Wilson nostalgic for the old days of going to clubs, forming bands, and starting to getting recognized. “Don’t Fade Away” mixes gentle, almost whispered vocals with light touch instrumentation and lyrics celebrating life’s simple pleasures. And “So Amazed” is a charming, perfect little mid-tempo rock and roll tune of thankfulness for being in the right place with the right person.

Drummer Jacob Slichter was the primary writer on the the uptempo rocker “Keep Me In Motion,” and bassist John Munson wrote and sings the melancholy reminisce “If You Say So,” in which he intones, “Could it all have really happened?/I guess it did if you say so.”

Elsewhere, two songs feature co-writes by singer/songwriter Lori McKenna, and My Morning Jacket’s Jim James gets into the action on the album closer, “Beautiful Sky,” on which he also plays a bit of fiery guitar.

All this amounts to is the same sort of top notch melodic pop/rock record that Semisonic always had a knack for creating. There is something earnest about the music this band produces, something sincere. Despite “Closing Time”‘s omnipresence in the late-‘90s, it was a song that was still very very hard to dislike, or even get really tired of. It’s a testament to the strength of songwriting and honesty of performance, those factors Wilson and Semisonic always had in spades. Little Bit of Sun is the next enticing chapter. (

Author rating: 7.5/10

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Average reader rating: 8/10


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