Soul Asylum – Change Of Fortune album review by Benjie Gordon

This young Japanese macaque (Macaca fuscata) stole the iPhone of a tourist that wanted to take a closeup shot.

Hey RUST fans we have a submitted article here from Benjie Gordon, a cool cat in Cali. He got his mitts on an advance copy of Soul Asylum’s new record, and we’re big fans of the band here, so this review is music to our ears. The album drops on March 18th so mark your calendars! Also, we interviewed David Pirner the last time the band toured through our area and you can check out that interview HERE

Let’s be honest about one thing here, as a band Soul Asylum never really get the respect they deserve. Sure, they’ve sold more records then any other rock band from Minneapolis, but when the stories of Minny rock are written the first names mentioned are always The Replacements and Husker Du. Meanwhile, Soul Asylum are the only one of the three bands that has never given up and has continued to write, record, and tour for over 30 years now.

But don’t get me started… While 2012’s Delayed Reaction was a “cleaning out the closet” sort of record (some of the songs from DR date back to the Grave Dancers Union era), Change Of Fortune feels like both a fresh start and a classic Soul Asylum record. All the elements are there – the classic rock riffs filtered through punk rock energy, Dave Pirner’s soulful yet ragged vocals and clever lyrical turns of phrase, and themes the common man can always relate to (Doomsday, anyone?).

Lead single “Supersonic” is a fine start, a 3 ½ minute punch of power-pop perfection, but it’s “Moonshine”, “Don’t Bother Me”, and the aforementioned “Doomsday” that keep me coming back again and again. “Don’t Bother Me” harkens back to the country-tinged rock of “I Did My Best” and opens with one of David Pirner’s simplest yet best “Pirnerisms” to date (“She took her time, then she took mine”). “Moonshine” starts as a whisper and ends with a scream while wondering aloud, “are we having a good time, or is it just the moonshine?” Well, whatever it is, it’s a good time.

And there are plenty of good times to be had on Change Of Fortune, even if one of them (“Morgan’s Dog”) is literally about a kid accidentally shooting his own dog. But there’s really not a clunker on the record, every track has its place and feels like it needs to be there to complete the journey. By the time the final track (“Cool”) rings out, you may in fact be asking yourself “am I cool enough” to like this record? But liking Soul Asylum was never about being “cool” in the first place, it was always just about the songs. And the songs are all here.

by Benjie Gordon