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Feeling Strangely Fine

music reviewmusic review  out of 4 Music Review: Feeling Strangely Fine

Artist: Semisonic
Genre: Rock/Pop
Release Date: March 1998
Note(s): "Closing Time" was nominated for the 1999 Grammy for best rock song

Review by LarryG
2½ stars out of 4

In 1996, Dan Wilson's band put out a very good subtle, adult rock record called Great Divide which barely sold outside of Wilson's home, Minneapolis. So on Feeling Strangely Fine, Semisonic abandoned subtlety for a sometimes stupid, fun record. You might be sick of the repetitious smash hit, Closing Time, but its charms are undeniable: that catchy chorus, the chunky power chords and Wilson's buoyant vocals. Wilson seems to be having a great time whether paying tribute to a favorite songwriter on Singing In My Sleep or a favorite Star Trek episode on Never You Mind. All Worked Out has the fun and grandiosity of classic Queen or ELO. Semisonic's dumbing down is more detrimental on slower songs like Made To Last and Completely Pleased but Wilson's songwriting abilities do shine on the reflective California and Gone To The Movies. Overall, a well made, likeable record.

Here's what others reviewers have to say:

"...a creative quantum leap, 12 evocative, spectral minor-key guitar anthems which are clearly on more than nodding terms with R.E.M. but also reminiscent of Replacements....excellent." 4 Stars (out of 5) Q 12/99, p.128

"File this quirky second release from the feel-good Minneapolis trio under `alt-pop,' alongside Ben Folds Five. FEELING's emphasis is on well-crafted songs: sweetly hummable melodies, carefully layered instrumental polish, and wise-guy lyrics about love that roam from Spock to Shakespeare..."   Rating: B Entertainment Weekly 4/10/98, p.67



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