The grunge explosion of the ’90s consisted of about six or seven really major bands leading the way while the rest of the pack who comprised that musical “league table” sat somewhat in their shadows. Soul Asylum were one of those bands who experienced moderate success in the ’90s, mostly due to hit single “Runaway Train” but, as with rest of the pack, disappeared when the grunge bubble burst. To both their credit and my surprise, the band have continued plugging away and are now releasing Change Of Fortune, their eleventh studio recording.
Thankfully, listening to tracks like “Doomsday,” it’s nice to see that the band are churning out really easy-on-the-ear rock. There isn’t a grunge influence within a million miles of this album as songs like “Make It Feel” and “Ladies Man” take on a more pop-rock direction. Rarely shifting out of second gear, the jangly harmonic melodies of their earlier material still influence the sound of this record (see “Morgans Dog”) without sounding at all like they’ve spent the past couple of decades simply living off past glories.
All in all, the nicest thing you can say about Change Of Fortune is that it is a really pleasant, easy-to-digest record. It barely raises your pulse and it doesn’t try to be something it’s not. Change Of Fortune is a collection of nice, relaxed songs that fly by in just under forty minutes of breezy pop-influenced melodic rock.
Aside from the odd moment or two in the ’90s, Soul Asylum have just gone about their business making as little fuss as possible. It’s impossible not to like them and, if you grew up as a “grunge kid” and say you didn’t enjoy “Runaway Train,” then you’re a fucking liar! Much like how it was in the ’90s, Soul Asylum and the light, airy sounds of Change Of Fortune, won’t set your world on fire but they will certainly make you feel a lot happier.
02. Can’t Help It
04. Ladies Man
05. When I See You
07. Make It Real
09. Don’t Bother Me
10. Morgan’s Dog
11. Change Of Fortune
Run Time: 39:32
Release Date: March 18, 2016
Check out the track “Supersonic” here.