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Soul Asylum - Hurry Up and Wait

  by Lisa Torem

published: 9 / 8 / 2020

Soul Asylum - Hurry Up and Wait
Label: Blue Elan Records
Format: CD


Fantastic twelfth album from American alernative band Soul Asylum which serves up a ton of variety

Soul Asylum is an American alt-rock band featuring Dave Pimer, Michael Bland, Winston Roye and Ryan Smith. The band is best-known for their Grammy hit, ‘Runaway Train.’ (Soul Asylum was originally called “Hard Fast Rules”; the lead vocalist will also be publishing a book of lyrics with the same name.) ‘Hurry Up and Wait,’ their twelfth studio album, is a much-anticipated follow-up to 2016’s ‘Change of Fortune.’ Studded with Smith’s jagged, muscular guitar, Pimer’s mellow vocals and brimming with Bland and Roye’s support, ‘The Beginning’ sets the stage perfectly for the remaining dozen. “You never know what you might find/This is the beginning of a great adventure” … I love how the band utilizes this fresh perspective when exploring the age-old theme of romantic love. This arrangement features the subtle coloration of trumpet. An easy-on-the ears arrangement, the song steers the listener in the right direction and for what’s more to come with the teaser: “Now’s not the time to step aside.” “I’ve seen every shade of grey and I can’t wait another day…” The pure, heartfelt lyrics of ‘If I Told You’ align so well with the earnest delivery. The depth continues: “If I told you I loved you, would you hold it against me?” Whilst the first few songs speak softly of love, ‘Got It Pretty Good’ switches up the mood with rough-hewn vocals and a tough-as-nails choral response. That virile message is written in cinder block, not just stone. Then, ‘Make Her Laugh’ arrives, hearkening in buoyant, bouncy guitar. “Make her laugh like a kid on a carnival ride” and similar images create a dreamy mood. ‘Busy Signals’ with its insistent hook and cheeky high-tech undertones is an undeniably straight shot of adrenaline, but ‘Social Butterfly’ leaves ample room for reflection. “When I was young, I thought I would die,” Pimer recollects. Then, the narrative evolves: “I’m going to come out of my coma.” What makes ‘Dead Letter’ so unique? It echoes the sentiment of classic English ballads like ‘Greensleeves'. The slow build frames utterly sincere vocals. On ‘Landmines,’ Smith’s electric guitar skirts the story like an angry serpent. Here, all the players crackle, but the lead guitar pops. Similarly, ‘Freezer Burn’ enjoys Smith’s equally riveting embellishments. And true to form, ‘Here We Go’ brandishes, like so many of Soul Asylum's songs, fierce optimism. There’s anguish on this album, sure, but it is fleeting. The closer, ‘Silent Treatment’ gets the trophy for most creative and alluring lyrics: ‘She said she was a mermaid./She said she liked horses.” Huh? Who wouldn’t want to hear more about this mysterious lass? Printed in a novel, wouldn’t this be a page turner? Soul Asylum’s ‘Hurry Up and Wait’ offers something uplifting for every fan. But don’t let the title mislead — “hurry up” and order.

Track Listing:-
1 The Beginning
2 If I Told You
3 Got It Pretty Good
4 Make Her Laugh
5 Busy Signals
6 Social Butterfly
7 Dead Letter
8 Landmines
9 Here We Go
10 Freezer Burn
11 Silent Treatment
12 Hopped Up Feelin'
13 Silly Things

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Delayed Reaction (2013)
Versatile eleventh album from much acclaimed alt.rock/grunge band, Soul Asylum

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