Album review: SEMISONIC – Feeling Strangely Fine

UMC [Release date 09.11.18]

Semisonic’s classic album ‘Feeling Strangely Fine’ gets the twentieth anniversary make-over that sees the album released on deluxe edition CD and digital, as well as a limited edition gold vinyl pressing, which marks the first time ever a Semisonic album has been pressed to vinyl LP. In addition to the original album, this re-issue adds four bonus songs that were B-sides in various countries on the album’s original release.

The three piece – Dan Wilson (vocals, guitars, keys), John Munson (bass, vocals, keys), Jason Slichter (drums, percussion, vocals, keys) – certainly created a hit album and one that has stood the test of time. The album charted at number 16 in UK album charts and number 43 in the US charts, where the album went on to sell over one million copies.

It is an album full of cleverly written and played power pop gems including the hit ‘Closing Time’, with its distinctive open piano. Add to that the glorious ‘Secret Smile’, the bitter sweet pop of ‘This Will Be My Year’, the instant chorus on ‘All Worked Out’ – I could go on as each song has its own delights and wonders for the listener. ’Feeling Strangely Fine’ doesn’t really have a dud moment.

The four bonus songs definitely make the album worth getting again with the mellow ‘Beautiful Regret’ and the alt rock of ‘I Am A Liar’ (Collective Soul would have loved a song like this) the stand outs.

After this album Semisonic released ‘All About Chemistry’ in 2001, which despite being another fine album of songs, failed to match the success of ‘Feeling Strangely Fine’ and the band split soon after. However, they did reunite for some shows last year and we can only hope they feel the urge to make new music again. Dan Wilson has been the most prolific, co-writing with a number of artists including Adele, Panic! At The Disco, Weezer and most recently with former Journey singer Steve Perry on his recent comeback album.

If you don’t already own a copy of this album get this re-issue, as ‘Feeling Strangely Fine’ was one of the finest power pop albums released in the 90′s. ****1/2

Review by Jason Ritchie

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