This year has been short on good news, yet it’s a golden era for reunions, with Semisonic being the latest to mark their return. Though unfairly labeled as one-hit wonders, but they were special in that regard. See, they belong to a very rare class: one-hit wonders with two different songs. “Closing Time” was their ubiquitous American hit, while the rest of the world fell for “Secret Smile,” both superb numbers. Both were highlights from their second album, Feeling Strangely Fine.
But their follow-up album, 2001’s All About Chemistry, failed to replicate the success of their previous album, and the band split shortly after. But frontman Dan Wilson didn’t rest on his laurels or slip into obscurity. Instead, he turned into a superb songwriter, and scored numerous big hits for The Dixie Chicks and Adele, amongst others. Following an otherwise unfruitful writing session with Liam Gallagher several years ago, Wilson felt the urge to go back to his rock band roots. A handful of reunion shows soon led to off-the-cuff recording sessions, resulting in the forthcoming EP, You’re Not Alone.
The title track, released this past Friday, is a sunny and bright message of hope and optimism. Written in 2017 as a beacon of hope, it’s more true today than it was then. Its jaunty and upbeat intro reminds a bit of both “Closing Time” and earlier single, “FNT,” before giving way to a superb band onslaught. Vocally, Wilson doesn’t sound like he’s aged a bit, and the chops of bassist John Munson and drummer Jacob Slichter are equally tight. On first listen “You’re Not Alone” might not register as anything more than a nice ditty, but it will quickly grow on you and reveal itself to be a superb return to form.
Preorder Semisonic You’re Not Alone: Amazon