Soul Asylum - The Silver Lining

Soul Asylum
The Silver Lining


First Appeared in The Music Box, August 2006, Volume 13, #8

Written by Tracy M. Rogers


Nearly 23 years into its career — and eight years after the release of its last studio effort Candy from a StrangerSoul Asylum has returned to the ranks of active musicians with the cautiously optimistic, hard rockin’ The Silver Lining. Throughout the effort, lead singer and songwriter Dave Pirner attempts to recapture the magic of 1992’s Grave Dancer’s Union, and in some ways, he has succeeded. The opening Stand Up and Be Strong is a positive anthem, while Lately is a rollicking soldier’s tale. The psuedo-country of Crazy Mixed Up World and the post-punk All is Well are infectious enough, even if they are a bit lyrically drab. Dave Murphy cranks up the feedback on the catchy pop-rocker Buss Named Desire, while the influence of Southern blues permeates the slower Whatcha Need. On the downside, Standing Water, Success Is Not So Sweet, and The Great Exaggerator strike a mellower tone that seems out of place on The Silver Lining. The whispered Oxygen, the slowly simmering Good for You, and power-driving Slowly Rising/Fearless Leader bring the proceedings to a close. Overall, Pirner’s vocals are rough-edged, and he frequently sounds as if he’s losing his voice. In the end, The Silver Lining is a slight miss for Soul Asylum in that it proves to be too scattered musically and too clichéd lyrically to hold its own among the better outings in the group’s catalogue. starstarstar


Of Further Interest...

Counting Crows - Hard Candy

Modern Skirts - Catalogue of Generous Men

Various Artists - Open Season: Featuring the Songs of Paul Westerberg


The Silver Lining is available from Barnes & Noble.
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1 Star: Pitiful
2 Stars: Listenable
3 Stars: Respectable
4 Stars: Excellent
5 Stars: Can't Live Without It!!


Copyright © 2006 The Music Box