Deep Purple’s Latest And Likely Last Album Tops Phil’s Picks 2020 Top 10 New Rock Albums List

Courtesy: earMUSIC

The year 2020 threw a lot of misery and negativity at the world.  Between the seemingly endless issues raised as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the political problems that plagued America and the world, and some of the most respected names in the industry passing, there has been more than enough for us to never speak of 2020 again when it ends.  For all of that negativity and misery that the world has seen this year though, there actually has been at least some positive in the form of new music from so many acts.  The lists compiled already recently by Phil’s Picks and other outlets have more than supported that statement.  That new music includes new albums from lots of new and established rock acts, such as Deep Purple, Faith & Scars, and even Nine Inch Nails.  All three acts are featured in this year’s list of Phil’s Picks Top 10 New Rock Albums.  Their musical and lyrical content collectively (and sometimes by themselves) prove them fully deserving of their spots on this (and any critic’s) list.

As with every other list from Phil’s Picks, this list features the Top 10 new titles in the given category and five additional honorable mention titles for a total of 15 titles.  Without any further ado, here is Phil’s Picks 2020 Top 10 New Rock Albums.

PHIL’S PICKS 2020 TOP 10 NEW ROCK ALBUMS

  1. Deep Purple – Whoosh!
  2. Nick Perri & The Underground Thieves – Sun Via
  3. Derek Sherinian – The Phoenix
  4. Ricky Byrd – Sobering Times
  5. Joe Satriani – Shapeshifting
  6. Pearl Jam – Gigaton
  7. Nine Inch Nails – Ghosts V
  8. Nine Inch Nails – Ghosts VI
  9. Soul Asylum – Hurry Up and Wait
  10. Shadow and the Thrill – Sugarbowl
  11. Faith & Scars – Revolver
  12. Jason Kui – Naka
  13. Michael Abdow – Heart Signal
  14. Horisont – Sudden Death
  15. Night – High Tides Distant Skies

Next up from Phil’s Picks is 2020’s Top New Hard rock & Metal Albums.  Stay tuned for that.

To keep up with the latest entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.  

Brady Rymer And The Little Band That Could Have One Of 2020’s Best New Holiday Music Compilations In Its New EP

Courtesy: Bumblin’ Bee Records

Family entertainer Brady Rymer is keeping himself busy this year.  Rymer released his latest album Songs Across The Pond over the summer.  The record was a collaboration with fellow family entertainer David Gibb.  Later this month he will host a free livestream concert.  The performance is scheduled to take place noon ET on Dec. 19 through Rymer’s official Facebook page.  Additionally, Rymer and his fellow musicians The Little Band That Could debuted their latest single, ‘Angels in The Snow’ Friday.  The song is the lead single from the group’s new holiday compilation by the same name, which was released Nov. 6 through Bumblin’ Bee Records.  The record is among the most unique of this year’s new holiday music compilations if not the year’s most unique.  That is due in no small part to the record’s featured songs, which will be discussed shortly.  The musical arrangements that are featured within the four song EP add their own share of interest to the record, and will be discussed a little later.  The songs’ sequencing rounds out the most important of the EP’s elements.  When it is considered with the noted other items, the whole of those items makes Angels in the Snow a holiday music compilation that the whole family will enjoy.

Angels in the Snow, the new holiday music compilation from Brady Rymer & The Little Band That Could, is presentation that holds is own against its counterparts in this year’s field of new holiday music compilations.  That is due in no small part to the record’s featured songs.  Of the four songs that make up the record’s body, three are originals.  Only one – ‘My Favorite Things’ – is a cover.  The album’s lead single and title track does incorporate the traditional holiday song ‘Angels We Have Heard on High,’ but its use in that song is minimal at best.  It is more of a “supporting element” to the bigger composition than its focus.  Even the lyrical themes in the songs are largely original, making the songs even more engaging and entertaining.  ‘Why, Daddy, Why’ for instance is something to which every parent and child can relate.  It finds a young child asking his/her dad why he/she has to wait to open his/her presents on Christmas morning.  The anticipation  is so difficult for the child as he/she has to wait for his/her parents to get coffee first and do other things. 

While ‘My Favorite Things’ is at its heart, a cover of the timeless classic from The Sound of Music, this version presents the “favorite things” of a dog.  Among those favorite things are: hanging the dog’s head out the window of a moving vehicle, feeling snowflakes fall on its nose, and “naps in the cool shade.”  So even while they have covered a classic here, Rymer and company still give the song a new, unique touch that adds even more to the appeal to its presentation and that of the EP.

‘Writing A Letter to Santa Claus’ is another way in which the EP’s songs show their own importance.  This song is straight forward.  It is told from the vantage point of a child who is writing that letter to Santa with all of his/her wishes for Christmas.  What is really interesting about the song’s lyrical theme is that while yes, there are wishes for certain toys and other items, the letter also tells Santa that the child wants to ride in his sleigh, etc.  So it’s not just about the toys.  That adds even more appeal to the song.  In turn, it adds even more appeal to the EP overall.  Keeping that in mind along with the content in the other noted songs and their overall originality, no doubt is left at this point as to the importance of the songs featured in Rymer and company’s new EP to its presentation.  They are just a portion of what makes the record stand out.  The musical arrangements featured within the songs add their own touch to the EP’s presentation, too.

The arrangements that are featured within Angels in the Snow are just as original as the songs themselves.  They are also diverse.  The EP’s closer, ‘Writing A Letter to Santa’ presents a vintage country/western style arrangement, complete with the slide guitar twang that is so trademark to the genre and the just as audible twang in Rymer’s vocal delivery.  The subtle addition of the organ (likely a Hammond B3) and the gentle snare drum rolls enriches the song’s arrangement even more.  Much the same can be said of the addition of the sleigh bells just as Rymer mentions the reindeer.

The simple arrangement featured in the EP’s title track/opener lends itself ever so slightly to works from Soul Asylum, giving listeners even more musical variety.  As a matter of fact, one could argue that Rymer’s vocal delivery here lends itself just as slightly to not just Soul Asylum front man Dave Pirner, but also to The Rolling Stones front man Mick Jagger.  The Jagger comparison is especially audible in the song’s choruses while the comparison to Pirner is more noticeable in the verses.  The stylistic approach to the song’s instrumentation, what with the use of the drums, keyboards, and guitar add to the comparison to Soul Asylum works.  The equally subtle use of the bells adds its own special touch to the song’s arrangement.  The whole of this arrangement is just one more exhibition of how the record’s musical content makes the record’s musical side so important.  The arrangement featured in ‘Why, Daddy, Why’ is yet another example of what makes the record’s musical presentation so important.

The musical arrangement featured in ‘Why, Daddy, Why’ takes listeners back to the 1960s.  This arrangement is one that will especially appeal to parents (and even grandparents).  That is thanks to the use of the horns, piano, and drums.  The immediate comparison that comes to this critic’s mind is that of Dr. John.  Such comparison is due more to the song’s instrumentation here than Rymer’s performance.  The energy is there, but is also just controlled enough to paint a rich of that child on the stairs, head in hands, waiting so patiently yet anxiously.  At the same time, the overall sound conjures those thoughts of those night clubs from days gone by.  It is an arrangement in whole that has so much substance, in other words, and is certain to appeal to listeners of all ages.  When this is considered along with the appeal in the other songs addressed here and with that of Rymer’s updated take of ‘My Favorite Things,’ the arrangements in whole prove to be just as important to the EP’s presentation as its songs.  Together, these two elements more than ensure listeners’ engagement and enjoyment, and are just a portion of what makes the record stand out.  The songs’ sequencing rounds out the EP’s most important elements.

In listening through the course of Angels in Snow, listeners will note that the 13-minute record is mostly a gentle, relaxed presentation.  Its mid-tempo opener, more relaxed take of ‘My Favorite Things’ and reserved energy in its closer collectively keep its mood relatively relaxed without being too slow.  ‘Why, Daddy, Why’ meanwhile breaks up that more relaxed sense that populates most of the song, what with its more excited energy and lyrical content.  In breaking up the album and changing things up even momentarily, that variance helps to make the record’s sequencing just as impacting as the EP’s overall content.  Keeping this in mind, the positive result of the EP’s sequencing shows its importance just as much as the EP’s songs and their musical arrangements.  All things considered, they make the record in whole a surprisingly welcome musical gift that the whole family will enjoy.

Brady Rymer & The Little Band The Could have released in its new EP Angels in the Snow, a work that is among the best of this year’s new holiday music compilations if not the year’s best overall.  That is proven in part through the songs that make up the record’s body.  They are largely original compositions instead of covers.  Their lyrical content is original, too, even in the cover of ‘My Favorite Things.’  The arrangements that accompany the songs and their lyrical content are original in their own right.  This adds even more pleasure to the listening experience in the case of this EP.  The record’s sequencing rounds out its most important elements.  It ensures listeners’ engagement and enjoyment just as much as the record’s content because of how it balances the EP’s energy.  Each item noted here is important in its own way to the whole of the record.  All things considered they make Angels in the Snow a record that will find plenty of plays any holiday season. 

Angels in the Snow is available now. More information on the album is available along with Brady Rymer’s latest news at:

Websitehttp://www.bradyrymer.com

Facebookhttp://www.facebook.com/bradyrymer

Twitterhttp://twitter.com/BradyRymer

To keep up with the latest entertainment reviews and news, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest entertainment reviews and news in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Soul Asylum’s New EP Is An Enjoyable Companion Piece To ‘Hurry Up And Wait’

Courtesy: Blue Elan Records

When veteran rock band Soul Asylum released its new album Hurry Up and Wait in April, the record was the band’s first new album in four years.  It was a record that proved worth the wait, too.  Now ironically thanks to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, audiences are not having to wait nearly as long for its follow-up.  The band released its new EP Born Free Friday, less than six months after Hurry Up and Wait’s release.  The four-song record is an interesting presentation in large part because of its musical arrangements.  This aspect will be discussed shortly.  The record’s production is just as important to note as its arrangements and will be addressed a little later.  The EP’s sequencing rounds out its most important elements and will also be discussed later.  Each item noted is important in its own way to the whole of the record.  All things considered, they make the EP another positive offering from Soul Asylum that audiences will be glad they did not have to wait such a long time to receive.

Soul Asylum’s new EP Born Free is a pleasant follow-up to the band’s latest album, Hurry Up and Wait.  It is a record for which audiences will be glad came sooner than the noted album.  That is due in part to its musical arrangements.  The arrangements in question are acoustic takes of four songs featured in Hurry Up and Wait – ‘If I Told You,’ ‘The Beginning,’ ‘Here We Go,’ and ‘Got It Pretty Good.’  The musical arrangement featured in the acoustic take of ‘Got It Pretty Good’ stays true to its source material.  Obviously being acoustic, it doesn’t have all of the production that was used in the original song, such as the choral effect used in the choruses or the bombast of the drums and bass.  The distortion isn’t there and the guitar solo in the bridge is more simplistic, yet still so infectious in its own right.  The whole of the arrangement may not be as intense as its source material, but still is fully engaging and entertaining in its own right.  It is just one of the EP’s most notable arrangements.  The arrangement featured in the acoustic take of ‘If I Told You’ is notable in its own right.

The musical arrangement featured in the acoustic take of ‘If I Told You’ is so important to examine because in this case, it is so starkly different from its source material.  Whereas the arrangement featured in the original composition is a moving, emotional work in its own right, with all of its clean production, the song’s acoustic arrangement deepens that emotional impact even more.  That is because the acoustic take is so simplistic in its approach.  Instead of the full compliment of electric guitars, drums, and bass, this song is just front man Dave Pirner (and possibly band mate guitarist Ryan Smith) and a pair of guitars.  The harmonies in the vocals and the simplicity in the instrumentation reaches a new place in every listener’s heart and ears.  It is proof that every now and then, a song’s acoustic take actually can and does improve over its source material because it is so simple in its approach and sound.  It’s just one more way in which the EP’s musical content proves so important to its presentation.  The arrangement featured in ‘The Beginning’ is another way in which the EP’s musical content proves its importance.

The acoustic take of ‘The Beginning’ is a lighter take on the original work, which is itself an instantly radio-ready work that lends itself to comparisons to some of Foo Fighters’ early works.  To another extent, one could even argue comparisons to early works from Smashing Pumpkins, believe it or not.  That is proven through its guitar-driven, mid-tempo presentation.  By comparison, the noted acoustic take does have its own energy, even in its far more simplistic approach.  What is interesting is the unique impact that it will have on listeners because of that noted instrumentation.  The emotion that is exhibited in the acoustic take’s instrumentation is excited, given, but is also more tentative than that of the song’s full take.  It is just one more way in which the EP’s musical arrangements prove their value.  What’s more, it adds even more to the discussion on the impact of acoustic takes of songs versus their full counterparts.  Taking into consideration that impact featured here, in the other noted songs and the EP’s one other work, ‘Here We Go,’ no doubt is left as to the importance of the record’s musical content.  It collectively is just part of what makes Born Free stand out, too.  The record’s production builds on the foundation formed by the arrangements and enriches the record’s presentation even more.

Born Free’s production is just as important to examine as its arrangements because it is that work that brought out all of the record’s nuances.  Since ‘Here We Go’ was not addressed in the arrangements’ examination, it will serve as the starting point here.  The vocal layering that was used alongside the dynamics in the instrumentation is an example of the positive result of the production.  That layering balances the vocals of Priner (and apparently Smith) expertly.  The dynamic changes that are used throughout the song are so subtle, and captured just as expertly behind the glass, and are just noticeable enough.  Considering that the arrangement here is so much more reserved than its source material, that attention to detail here is key in its own way.  This is just one way in which the EP’s production proves important.  That of ‘If I Told You’ does its own share to show the importance of the record’s production.

The production of ‘If I Told You’ shines again through the balance in the vocals.  At the same time, the balance of what sounds like that of the guitar and bass against the vocals adds even more emotional impact to the song.  All things considered here, the dynamics are made so clear, and the emotional impact is just as strong as at any other point in the record.  It’s yet another way in which the record’s production proves so pivotal to its whole.  Simply put, everything is clear and balanced, and well arranged.

Much the same can be said of ‘Got It Pretty Good’ and ‘The Beginning’ as has already been noted of ‘Here We Go’ and ‘If I Told You.’  It would be redundant to repeat everything already noted.  To that end, the production plays into the EP’s overall impact just as much as the arrangements.  It succeeds just as much, too.  Keeping that in mind, the production and arrangements go a long way to make the record an overall success, and are still not the last of the its most important items.  Its sequencing rounds out its most important items.

The sequencing of Born Free is important to examine because it brings everything full circle.  As has already been noted, the arrangements have their own unique impact on listeners.  The production is to thank in its own right for helping to make the arrangements sound so impressive.  For all that they do, the sequencing of any record plays its own part in any record’s general effect.  The EP starts off subtly with ‘If I Told You.’  That subtle, reserved sense continues on through into ‘The Beginning.’  However, it does hint at a slight increase in the record’s energy.  ‘Here We Go’ maintains the record’s reserved nature before the EP goes out on a high note in ‘Got It Pretty Good.’  Simply put, the EP spends most of its time keeping listeners in a controlled mindset and ultimately rewards listeners in its finale with the noted upbeat ‘Got It Pretty Good.’  Keeping that in mind, it leaves listeners feeling good as it subtly builds over the course of its 14-minute run time.  To that end, the sequencing joins with the arrangements and their production to ultimately put the finishing touch to the presentation and prove one last time what makes the EP so enjoyable for audiences. 

Soul Asylum’s new EP Born Free is a work that the band’s most devoted fans will appreciate.  That is proven in part through its arrangements.  They give new identities to the songs, whose source material was released in the band’s latest album back in April.  The arrangements’ production adds its own impact to the record as it is that work that brings out the best in each arrangement.  The record’s sequencing rounds out its most important elements, as it plays into the record’s general effect by impacting listeners’ moods.  All three noted elements are key in their own way to the EP.  All things considered, they make the record a work that continues to prove Soul Asylum still very much has a place in the rock community today.  The EP is available now.

More information on Soul Asylum’s new album, tour and more is available online now along with all of the band’s latest news and more at:

Websitehttp://www.soulasylum.com

Facebookhttp://www.facebook.com/SoulAsylum

Twitterhttp://twitter.com/soulasylum

To keep up with the latest entertainment reviews and news, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest entertainment reviews and news in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Soul Asylum Announces Livestream Details

Courtesy: Blue Elan Records

Soul Asylum will hold a new livestream performance next month.

The band made the announcement Friday.  The concert, dubbed “Hurry Up and Wait: Some More,” is scheduled to take place at 10 p.m. ET on Oct. 10 at Creation Studios in Minneapolis, MN through the band’s official website.  Local H will provide support for the ticketed event.

The band’s upcoming livestream is in support of its most recent studio recording Hurry Up and Wait and its forthcoming EP Born Free.  Born Free is scheduled for release Oct. 16 through Blue Elan Records.

More information on Soul Asylum’s new livestream concert is available online now along with all of the band’s latest news and more at:

 

 

 

Websitehttp://www.soulasylum.com

Facebookhttp://www.facebook.com/SoulAsylum

Twitterhttp://twitter.com/soulasylum

 

 

 

To keep up with the latest entertainment reviews and news, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest entertainment reviews and news in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Soul Asylum Announces Release Date, Cover Art For New EP

Courtesy: Blue Elan Records

Soul Asylum will release its next record this fall.

The band is scheduled to release its new digital EP Born Free Oct. 16 through Blue Elan Records.  The record featured acoustic re-imaginings of songs from the band’s latest album Hurry Up and Wait.  The album was released April 17 through Blue Elan Records.

The songs featured in the forthcoming recording were produced shortly after the release of Hurry Up and Wait while front man Dave Pirner and his band mates were forced to stay indoors due to the “safer at home” orders passed nationwide.  Pirner and Soul Asylum guitarist Ryan Smith’s streaming quarantine sessions, which took place live from Pirner’s living room, were what led to the creation of the acoustic takes.

One of the acoustic takes featured in the forthcoming EP, ‘If I Told You‘ is streaming now.

Pirner talked about the creative process in a recent interview.

“After I get the main idea for the song and have roughly figured out how to play it I show it to Ryan and then we play it together,” he said. “So, in a way, this is kind of showing how the songs were before we added the rhythm section. It’s fun to cut live in the studio; there’s no going back and you can’t fix it. It’s unembellished, therefore hopefully interesting.”

In other news, Pirner and Smith are scheduled to perform live at 9 p.m. ET tonight on American Songwriter’s Instagram.  Additionally, the band will take part in this year’s rescheduled Record Store Day, which is scheduled to take place Oct. 24.

The band will re-issue Hurry Up And Wait on a 2LP vinyl set with bonus 7-inch vinyl that features two previously unreleased songs — a cover of the timeless country song ‘Rhinestone Cowboy’ and an acoustic take of the band’s hit song ‘We 3.’  That song originally appeared on the band’s 1990 album And The Horse They Rode In On, and then later on the soundtrack for the 1997 movie Chasing Amy.

More information on Soul Asylum’s new album, tour and more is available online now along with all of the band’s latest news and more at:

 

 

 

Websitehttp://www.soulasylum.com

Facebookhttp://www.facebook.com/SoulAsylum

Twitterhttp://twitter.com/soulasylum

 

 

 

To keep up with the latest entertainment reviews and news, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest entertainment reviews and news in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Audiences Will Agree Soul Asylum’s New LP Was Worth The “Wait”

Courtesy: Blue Elan Records

Soul Asylum is proof that a band doesn’t have to be a superstar act in order to be successful.  The Minneapolis, Minnesota-based indie rock act has, for more than three decades, sold thousands of records worldwide, built a fan base just as large, if not larger, and even seen two of its albums go platinum.  For all of that success, the band has remained largely just under the mainstream radar.  Now this spring, the little band that could will continue its success when it releases its new album Hurry Up And Wait.  Set for release April 17 through Blue Elan Records, the 13-song record will come more than four years after the band released its most recent album, 2016’s Change of Fortune.  The band’s 12th album, the 46-minute record proves to be a work that fans will agree was worth the “wait.”  That is proven through the album’s musical and lyrical content, as is proven in part through the album’s opener, ‘The Beginning.’  It will be addressed shortly.  ‘Got it Pretty Good,’ which also comes early in the album’s run, is another way in which the record’s overall content makes the album work.  It will be addressed a little later.  ‘Silly Things,’ the album’s closer is one more way in which the album’s collective musical and lyrical content comes together to show why the album is an interesting new offering from Soul Asylum’s latest lineup.  When these songs are considered along with other entries featured in the album, such as ‘Social Butterfly,’ ‘Freezer Burn’ and the album’s lead single ‘If I Told You’ and the rest of the album’s offerings, the whole of this record makes it another work that Soul Asylum’s longtime fans will assuredly enjoy

Longtime fans of Soul Aslyum and indie rock fans alike will all agree that it was a good thing Dave Pirner – one of the band’s founding members – and his latest lineup of musicians did not “hurry” to make the band’s 12th full-length studio recording.  Coming more than four years after the release of its 11th album Change of Fortune, this latest album from the indie-rock darling gives listeners plenty to appreciate both musically and lyrically.  The album’s opener, fittingly titled ‘The Beginning,’ is just one of the songs that serves to support these statements.  The song’s guitar-driven, mid-tempo arrangement is an instantly radio-ready work that lends itself to comparisons to some of Foo Fighters’ early works.  To another extent, one could even argue comparisons to early works from Smashing Pumpkins, believe it or not.  Between the guitar and bass line, which form the song’s foundation and the time keeping, which builds even more on that foundation, the whole of the arrangement gives the album a solid start.  The music’s companion lyrical content shows even more, what makes the song such a strong start to the record, and notable entry to the album.

The lyrical content at the center of ‘The Beginning’ is a very positive presentation that any listener will appreciate.  Pirner sings in the song’s lead verse, “Everyone’s waiting/To see if you’re coming/Out of your shell for a while/Cupid and Casper are asking about you/You used to be so wild/I know how it is/You’d be drunk at a party/It seems there’s someone you should call/Then the cycle begins/You decide to stay in/You don’t talk to anyone at all/Never know what you might find/You never know what you leave behind/This is the beginning/Of a great adventure/No’s not the time, not the time to step aside.”  He continues in the song’s second verse, “I’ve had my share of missteps and delusions…Every conclusion/Is better than never/Happily after all/Dig yourself out of the tangled up barbed-wire/Fighting over every wall/Then you get over/And pull yourself/Pull yourself up by the straps of your overalls/Never know what you might find/You never know what you leave behind/This is the beginning of a great adventure/Leaving with you/This is the beginning/Of a great adventure/Now’s not the time, not the time/To leave it behind/I’m right behind you/Behind you all the way/When I find you/We’ll be on our way.” Pirner leaves little doubt as to the central theme of this song with these relatively accessible lyrics.  The whole thing comes across as a song that encourages listeners to move forward in life and put the past behind them, thus the phrasing in the song’s chorus about the great adventure and it not being the time to step aside.  That positive, uplifting message, coupled with the song’s equally accessible musical arrangement, makes the song in whole both a strong start for Soul Asylum’s new album and just one example of how the album’s collective content makes it so enjoyable for the aforementioned audiences.  It is just one of the songs featured in the album that serves to exhibit the album’s appeal.  ‘Got It Pretty Good’ is another example of the album’s positive impact.

‘Got It Pretty Good’ is another work whose musical arrangement takes audiences back to the early 1990s with its bluesy-mid-tempo 4/4 construction.  The simple, guitar-driven work has plenty of infectious hooks and choruses that will stick in listeners’ minds long after the song (and album) ends.  While the song’s arrangement does more than enough to keep listeners engaged and entertained, it is only one part of what makes the song another notable addition to HUAW.  The song’s lyrical content adds its own share of interest to its whole.

Pirner sings in this song’s lead verse, “Well I went to the doctor/I was feeling bad/I got it pretty good/I went to the church/Try to see what they had/I got it pretty good/The psychiatrist sent me back to the priest/He just said keep your childhood Christian/Yes I got it/Yes I got it pretty good/I tried being mean/I tried being mean/I tried taking all of your advice/It’s time to shine/A fine time to remind me/I’m just fine/A fine time to unwind/Now’s your time to shine.”  He continues in the song’s second verse, “I got it/I got it/I got it pretty good/About to choke/I’m on my knees/Yes I got it pretty good/Well I tried being nice/I tried being mean/I live my life just keeping it clean/I got the fever/I got the fever/And I got it pretty good/Well I need a good hammer/And A couple of nails/Gonna build me a boat/Gonna set my sails/My time to shine/It’s a fine time to remind me/I’m doing just fine/If I can find the time/Now’s your time to shine.”  Pirner leaves little doubt at this point as to the song’s central lyrical theme.  This is a song that centers on people trying to tell us how to live, and that it is more important for us to live our own lives as we see fit.  If any doubt was left by now, Pirner eliminates it even more in the song’s third and final verse, singing, “It ain’t good or bad/Ain’t wrong or right/But I got it pretty good/I ain’t giving up/No I stay in the fight/’Cause I got it pretty good/I’m unraveling/I’m gonna unwind/I’m winding down if I can find the time/’Cause I got it pretty good/I tried being mean/I tried being nice/I tried taking all your advice/It’s time to shine/Fine time to remind me/Live your life…now’s your time to shine.”  Again, this is a reminder to take life at our own pace and live our lives for us, not based on what others tell us we should do.  In other words, it is a work that promotes individuality, a classic theme of so much rock music.  When this message is considered alongside the song’s musical arrangement, with its solid energy and positive sound, it becomes even clearer why this song is such an enjoyable addition to the album’s whole.  The two elements together do a lot to make the song stand out, and in turn, serve to show that much more why the album in whole is another positive offering from Soul Asylum.  While this song is clearly notable in its own way to the whole of HUAW, it is not the last of the album’s most notable entries.  ‘Silly Things,’ the album’s closer is one more example of what makes this album a welcome return for Soul Asylum.

‘Silly Things’ stands out from the previously discussed songs in that its musical arrangement is much more reserved.  It isn’t the album’s only reserved arrangement, but still maintains its own unique identity.  The simplicity of the semi-acoustic work, is its real draw.  Audiences get here, Pirner’s vocals alongside a very simple percussion line and equally simple guitar and bass, the whole lending itself to comparisons to so many classic honky-tonk country music from the late 80s and early 90s.  That semi-country sensibility couples with the song’s lyrical theme of life and love to make the whole that much more accessible to listeners.

Pirner sings in the song’s lead verse, “I’ve done a lot of silly things/I’ve found out just what trouble brings/You used to wear my silly ring/While I listened to my ears ring/I’ve done a lot of silly things/I used to think that I was cool/Break each and every rule/Now all the rules are just the same/It’s just a silly game/I used to do a lot of things/And when I fail/I will fail without you/And my mistakes/I’ll always answer to…I’ve done a lot of silly things/I know just what trouble brings/I’ve done a lot of silly things.”  He continues in the song’s second verse, “I used to like the way you walked/You used to like the way I talked/I used to do a lot of things/I used to think that I could see/I’ve done a lot of silly things/You used to like the way I move/You used to think that I was smooth/And if I ever had a chance/I would ask you out again/I’ve done a lot of stupid things/And when I fail/I will fail without you/I’ve been let down/Lord, so many times/No one to blame/But myself/To keep from getting down/I’ve done a lot of stupid thing/And I know just what trouble brings/I’ve done a lot of silly things.”  Here is someone who obviously is at the end of a relationship and is looking back at that relationship, even admitting that perhaps he was the one who has lost, as he notes he would ask out the woman again.  The story is furthered in the song’s third and final verse, in which Pirner sings, “When I play/I will play without you/It’s every man and woman for themselves/I feel I’ve learned the hard way/To put you before myself/I’ve done a lot of silly things/I’ve done a lot of stupid s***/I’m still trying to deal with this.”  Once again, here listeners have a person who is looking back at a broken relationship, realizing it is his fault that the relationship ended.  The thing is that to a point, he wishes he had that second chance.  Of course this is nothing new to the music industry, but Pirner and company have delivered a unique take on such a theme, both musically and lyrically here.  It is quite the contrast, both musically and lyrically, to the album’s opener, but still is an interesting work nonetheless.  When the song is considered along with ‘The Beginning,’ ‘Got It Pretty Good’ and other songs featured in the album, such as ‘Social Butterfly,’ ‘Freezer Burn’ and the album’s lead single ‘If I Told You’ and the rest of the album’s offerings, the whole of this record makes it another work that Soul Asylum’s longtime fans will assuredly enjoy.

Soul Asylum’s 12th full-length studio recording Hurry Up And Wait is another positive offering from the band.  That is due to the musical and lyrical content presented throughout the course of its 46-minute run time.  All three of the songs examined here do their own share to support that statement.  The same can be said of any of the album’s other featured works.  From start to finish, the musical arrangements will take listeners back to the 90s while the songs’ lyrical themes will reach plenty of listeners, too.  All things considered, the record’s combined musical and lyrical content makes Hurry Up And Wait a record that listeners will agree was worth the “wait.”

Soul Asylum launched a tour in support of the forthcoming record on Feb. 11.  The tour is scheduled to run through March 20 in Austin, TX and to feature performances in cities, such as Nashville, TN; Phoenix, AZ and Portland, ME.  The tour’s schedule is noted below.

 

SOUL ASYLUM ON TOUR – Local H supports all dates except where noted:
2/17 – Boston MA – Paradise
2/18 – Portland ME – Port City Music
2/19 – New York NY – Bowery Ballroom
2/21 – Philadelphia PA – TLA
2/22 – Leesburg, VA – Tally Ho Theatre
2/24 – Atlanta, GA  – Center Stage
2/25 – Nashville, TN – The Cowan
2/26 – Louisville, KY – Mercury Ballroom
2/28 – Kansas City, MO – The Madrid
2/29 – Colorado Springs, CO – Sunshine Studios Live
3/01 – Denver, CO – The Bluebird
3/03 – Billings, MT – Pub Station
3/05 – Salt Lake City, UT – Metro
3/07 – Reno, NV – Boomtown Casino *
3/08 – San Francisco, CA – Slims
3/11 – Los Angeles, CA – Teragram Ballroom
3/13 – San Diego, CA – Belly UP
3/14 – Las Vegas, NV – Silverton Casino *
3/15 – Phoenix, AZ – Marquee
3/16 – Albuquerque, NM – Sunshine
3/18 – Oklahoma City, OK – Diamond Ballroom
3/20 – Austin, TX – SXSW official showcase *

*Local H not appearing on these dates

 

 

More information on Soul Asylum’s new album, tour and more is available online now along with all of the band’s latest news and more at:

 

 

 

Website: http://www.soulasylum.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/SoulAsylum

Twitter: http://twitter.com/soulasylum

 

 

 

To keep up with the latest entertainment reviews and news, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest entertainment reviews and news in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Soul Asylum Debuts New LP’s Lead Single; Announces LP Release, Tour Dates

Courtesy: Blue Elan Records

Soul Asylum debuted the lead single from its new album this week.

The band debuted the song ‘If I Told You‘ Thursday.  The song is featured in the band’s forthcoming album Hurry Up And Wait.  The song’s steady, mid-tempo arrangement is comparable to some of the band’s older works, but is still catchy and original in its own right.  Its lyrical content will connect with listeners just as easily as its musical content, with the song’s subject grappling with his/her personal mixed thoughts and emotions.

Hurry Up And Wait is scheduled for release April 17 through Blue Elan Records.Front man Dave Pirner talked recently about the album’s creation, saying it was less stressful than making past Soul Asylum records.

“There was nothing, pressure-wise that was making it less of a smooth creative process — if there is such a thing,” he said.

Soul Asylum will launch a tour in support of Hurry Up and Wait Feb. 11 in Milwaukee, WI.  The tour, which will feature support from Local H, runs just over five weeks, with its finale planned for March 20 in Austin, TX.  The tour also features performances in cities, such as Billings, MT; New York, NY and Phoenix, AZ.  The tour’s schedule is noted below.

SOUL ASYLUM ON TOUR – Local H supports all dates except where noted:
2/11 – Milwaukee, Wi – Turner Hall
2/12 – Detroit MI – St Andrew’s Hall
2/14 – Chicago, IL  – Metro
2/15 – Cincinnati, OH – Riverfront Live
2/17 – Boston MA – Paradise
2/18 – Portland ME – Port City Music
2/19 – New York NY – Bowery Ballroom
2/21 – Philadelphia PA – TLA
2/22 – Leesburg, VA – Tally Ho Theatre
2/24 – Atlanta, GA  – Center Stage
2/25 – Nashville, TN – The Cowan
2/26 – Louisville, KY – Mercury Ballroom
2/28 – Kansas City, MO – The Madrid
2/29 – Colorado Springs, CO – Sunshine Studios Live
3/01 – Denver, CO – The Bluebird
3/03 – Billings, MT – Pub Station
3/05 – Salt Lake City, UT – Metro
3/07 – Reno, NV – Boomtown Casino *
3/08 – San Francisco, CA – Slims
3/11 – Los Angeles, CA – Teragram Ballroom
3/13 – San Diego, CA – Belly UP
3/14 – Las Vegas, NV – Silverton Casino *
3/15 – Phoenix, AZ – Marquee
3/16 – Albuquerque, NM – Sunshine
3/18 – Oklahoma City, OK – Diamond Ballroom
3/20 – Austin, TX – SXSW official showcase *

*Local H not appearing on these dates

 

Courtesy: Minnesota Historical Society Publishing

Along with its upcoming album and tour, Pirner is also preparing to release a new book, Loud, Fast, Words.  The book, an annotated collection of lyrics from the band’s albums, is scheduled for release in February through Minnesota Historical Society Publishing.

More information on Soul Asylum’s new album, single an tour, Pirner’s new book and all of Soul Asylum’s latest news is available online at:

 

Website: http://www.soulasylum.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/SoulAsylum

Twitter: http://twitter.com/soulasylum

 

To keep up with the latest entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Soul Asylum’s Latest LP Could Mark A Positive Change In The Band’s Fortunes

Courtesy:  Entertainment One

Courtesy: Entertainment One

The story of alt-rock band Soul Asylum is one of the modern music industry’s most interesting stories to date. This Minneapolis, Minnesota-based band has seen its share of highs and lows throughout the course of its now nearly thirty-five year life. Early on in its life the band struggled to make a name for itself. Even with ten albums under its collective belt (two of which went platinum–and one of which went platinum three times over–) thousands of albums sold around the world, and a number of hit singles, the band has never managed to achieve superstar status. Yet it has still maintained a solid fan base around the world and continued to make quality music. The band’s latest album Change of Fortune (its eleventh full-length studio recording) could very well mark the start in a change in the band’s fortunes. That is because this twelve-song record, which is currently slated for release on Friday, March 16th, presents plenty of songs that will appeal to audiences of all ages thanks to the mix of the album’s musical and lyrical content. The album’s opener ‘Supersonic’ proves that. The song’s catchy guitar riffs and driving beat couple with its interesting lyrical content to make for a song that will instantly grab listeners’ ears and have them singing and dancing along. ‘Dealing’ comes later in the album’s run. Its full-on alt-rock groove and insightful lyrical content makes it another good example of what makes this album a potential change of fortune for the band. The album’s title track, which the band saves for much later in the album, is one more good example of what makes this record so surprisingly enjoyable. Its musical content presents an infectious semi-bluesy groove that is sure to impress audiences. Its lyrical content is just as impressive. The combination of both elements makes this song one more piece that is sure to help make this album the start of a change of fortune for the band. And it most assuredly can be said that it isn’t the only remaining song featured in this record that could be cited in this argument either. ‘Cool,’ the album’s closer could just as easily be cited as could ‘Can’t Help It’ and ‘Ladies Man.’ Whether for those songs or the compositions more directly noted here, it can be said of the album in whole that it is an impressive return for Soul Asylum and a return that any Soul Asylum fan should hear at least once.

Soul Asylum’s latest full-length studio recording (it’s eleventh) Change of Fortune could very well be the beginning of a change for the band’s fortunes. That is saying quite a bit considering the band’s history. This twelve-song, thirty-nine minute record presents more than its share of solid offerings for audiences beginning right off the top with its opener ‘Supersonic.’ ‘Supersonic’ is a good start to this record with its catchy guitar riffs and driving backbeat. Both lines couple with Winston Roye’s bass line and Dave Pirner’s vocals to transport listeners right back to the 90s. The song’s lyrical content is just as poppy for lack of better wording. Pirner sings here, “Call me at the office/Call me sad but true/It calms me when you call me/It keeps me in my room/Supersonic/Just how you want it/Gin and tonic she’s always on it/Supersonic, she’s always on the way/Automatic autumn/Left it sound and safe/We are moving onward/Wasting away. Considering such content, one would think that this song wouldn’t be as upbeat as it is in terms of its musical content. But in fact the opposite is the case. Pirner seems to be coming across here as talking about someone that seems to have a certain amount of emotional control over another. That is just this critic’s interpretation. It is hardly gospel. The line in which Pirner sings, “We are moving onward/Wasting away” would seem to contradict that interpretation. That aside, the fact that Pirner could get audiences thinking an discussing so easily says plenty of these lines. The discussions and thoughts don’t end with those lines, either. Pirner goes on later to sing about meeting at a station and telling someone where to go.It is definitely an interesting line in itself. And together with the rest of the song’s lyrical content, the song in whole is sure to keep listeners talking and singing along. The discussions brought on by the song’s lyrical content come together with the discussions on the song’s blatantly 90s sound to show exactly why this song was such a wise choice to open Soul Asylum’s new album and why the song was an equally wise addition to the album in whole. It is just one wise addition to this album, too. ‘Dealing’ is another good addition to this record.

‘Supersonic,’ with its mix of 90s-influenced musical content and discussion-invoking lyrical content proves in the end to be a wise opener for Soul Asylum’s latest full-length studio recording. It proves to be just as wise of an addition to the album in whole. As with the album’s opener the main reason for this is the song’s musical content. The song’s musical content boasts a full-on 90s alt-rock groove that is sure to get audiences moving. It might come across as an odd comparison to some, but in this critic’s own view, the groove in question actually conjures thoughts of King’s X. Audiences that are familiar with King’s X will likely agree when they hear this song for themselves. In regards to the song’s lyrical content, it is just as interesting. The song comes across as a social commentary of sorts as Pirner sings, “Everybody knows/Anything goes/We were only trying to have a good time/Livin’ while you learn/You’ll get your turn/We were only living with the one line/When you point the finger/Do you often find it pointed back at you/When you look at the mirror/Do you wonder who is looking back at you?” He goes on to sing in the song’s chorus “This is what we’re dealing/This is what we’re dealing with.” As if that isn’t enough proof of that interpretation, Pirner sings in the song’s second verse, “Every move you make/Is like a slitherin’ snake/Winding up the coil/Wastin’ your time/I don’t know what you heard/This is absurd/Trying to set yourself up for the last time.” Pirner comes across, in considering both verses, and the song’s short, simple chorus, as making a statement about someone that is not the best type of person by any means. It’s as if he is commenting on those people who act one way in a situation but in reality are rather quick to blame others anytime something bad happens and who refuse to accept responsibility for anything. Again, that is just this critic’s own take on this song. So it is not meant to be taken as the only interpretation. It is just the starting point for discussions on the song’s lyrical content. Regardless of wrong or right, Pirner has once again presented a song in its lyrical content alone that proves to be another good addition to Soul Asylum’s new album. And together with ‘Supersonic’ both songs together strengthen this album in whole even more. Of course the two songs together are not the album’s only songs nor are they the only good additions to this record. The album’s title track, which comes late in the album’s run, is just as impressive of an addition to the album as those songs.

Both ‘Supersonic’ and ‘Dealing’ are prime examples of what makes Change of Fortune a solid return for Soul Asylum and a record that any of the band’s fans should hear at least once. As impressive as both songs are in the overall picture of the album, they are not the only good examples of what makes this record worth hearing. The album’s title track, which serves as the album’s penultimate composition, is another piece that proves the album’s worth. Its musical content is a good starting point in the discussion as to why. ‘Change of Fortune’s’ musical makeup presents a semi-bluesy groove a la Lenny Kravitz that will have listeners moving just as easily as any of the album’s other songs, including those already noted here. The song’s lyrical content adds a whole other element to the song that when coupled with that infectious groove makes the song in whole a piece that is one of the album’s most standout moments. What makes the song’s lyrical content so notable is the ways that it can be interpreted. There is some material that makes it come across as a song centered on a couple’s meeting and relationship issues. At another point it seems to have something of a social commentary turn once again. Yet the song’s chorus segments seem to hint otherwise. Considering this it is sure to have audiences listening perhaps closer than at any other point in this record. Together with ‘Supersonic’ and ‘Dealing,’ all three songs are equally certain to have audiences listening and talking. And they are hardly the only pieces from this album that could be cited as examples of what makes this record worth hearing, too. Every one of the songs not noted here will each have listeners talking just as much. All things considered, the fact that Change of Fortune could have listeners so closely engaged shows that it could very well be the turning point in the band’s fortunes in its decades-long history.

Soul Asylum’s eleventh full-length studio recording is a welcome new return for the veteran alt-rock band. Fans old and new alike will agree with that sentiment when they hear this record for themselves. That is thanks to the mix of the album’s classic 90s sound in its musical content and the equally interesting lyrical content in each of the album’s songs. The combination of both elements together over the course of the album’s twelve songs and thirty-nine minutes will keep listeners completely engaged from beginning to end. That is evident not just in the songs noted here but in every one of the album’s songs. Regardless of audiences’ familiarity with Soul Asylum’s body of work, every listener will agree to all of this in hearing this record. In doing so, they will also agree that this record is not just a welcome return for the band but a record that every Soul Asylum fan should hear at least once. It will be available Friday, March 18th in stores and online. More information on Change of Fortune is available online now along with all of Soul Asylum’s latest news and tour updates at:

Website: http://pledgemusic.com/projects/soulasylum

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/SoulAsylum

To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it. Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Soul Asylum Signs With eOne Music For Its Eleventh Full-Length Album

Courtesy:  Entertainment One

Courtesy: Entertainment One

Veteran rock act Soul Asylum returns next spring with its latest full-length studio recording.

The members of Soul Asylum announced this week that the band has signed with Entertainment One (eOne) to release its next album, which will be titled Change of Fortune.  The band’s eleventh full-length studio recording, it will be the band’s debut album for Entertainment One and its first since 2012’s Delayed Reaction.  It is currently slated for release on Friday, March 18th, 2016.  While the band will have the backing of Entertainment One for its new album, it is also giving its fans the chance to play a role in the album’s creation, too.  Fans can help make the album a reality through the band’s PledgeMusic campaign.  There are a number of pledge levels that include different rewards with each pledge level including but not limited to: a signed copy of the album, an advance copy of the album once it’s done, Grave Dancers Union T-Shirt, and much more.  All of the details on the different pledge levels and rewards is available online now at http://www.pledgemusic.com/projects/soulasylum.

Chuck Oliner, eOne Music’s Director of Marketing and Promotions, shared his thoughts on the band’s signing saying, ”We are thrilled to be working with such a great trailblazing band as Soul Asylum.” He also gave a small hint in regards to the timeline for everything noting that the album’s first single is expected sometime early in the new year. “We wait to lead off 2016 with the first single from their new album Change of Fortune,” he said. Loyal Soul Asylum fans will be blown away with the new album, and new fans will understand why we are all so excited they are back.   Welcome back Soul Asylum, and get ready to see Dave, Michael, Winston and Justin on tour in 2016.

More information on Change of Fortune is available online along with all of the latest news from Soul Asylum at:

Website: http://pledgemusic.com/projects/soulasylum

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/SoulAsylum

 

To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it. Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.