"Great Divide has lived in my CD player for 8 years now, and I think it's safe to say that I'll never get sick of it at this point. The funny thing is that, the first few times I listened to it, only a couple of songs struck me. Of course, the scrumptious "oo-ooh!" chorus of Delicious grabbed me right away, and FNT sizzles with electricity from the first listen, but most of the songs seemed less stellar. That didn't last long though. These songs are my adopted babies now.
I hesitate to label an album that didn't crest 100,000 copies sold as the greatest album of all time, but I will at least say that Great Divide is by far the best car soundtrack I've ever heard. Roll down those windows and crank it up!! I'm getting an adrenaline rush just thinking about it."
Almost better than Feeling Strangely Fine!
thecolourpink... | Akron, OH | 02/16/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"As a devout Semisonic fan, saying that 'Great Divide' is better than 'Feeling Strangely Fine' (one of the great rock albums of the 90's) is almost sacreligious, in a way. But I'm saying it. From the moment you first hear the opening lick to 'F.N.T.', you're sucked in for life. The whole album does that to you. I still don't know what my favorite song is, because they're all so good, but it's between 'F.N.T.', 'If I Run', 'Across the Great Divide', 'Falling', and 'In Another Life.' If you like your music with a beat that brings out the inner optimist in you, then buy this album!"
Great Divide is just Plain Great
James M. Cayon | Northampton, MA United States | 06/01/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Why, if it's so great, am I holding back the remaining star? A valid question: this album, in effect one of the most assured debut efforts ever (not counting the band's Pleasure EP) is deserving of another half-star, it's true, but while Great Divide is frequently irresistible, it doesn't quite reach legendary status. That said, I've heard very few albums that are so consistently listenable on a repeated basis. I first saw Semisonic, so surprisingly without their registering a memorable impact upon me, when they led off for Aimee Mann on the I'm With Stupid tour in 1996, a few months before this record's release. So I didn't even realize at first who was making the sweet but chunky music issuing from my friend Dave's car speakers. After hearing "If I Run", I was useless, and as with Mann's "I Should've Known" from Whatever, went on to play it over and over and OVER again on the 100 - mile ride back home; in fact, in excess of 1,000 total airings to date - no exaggeration. As he was a drummer that occasionally gigged, it and the movie "Phenomenon" became forever associated with my late brother's tumor-related travails. For that reason alone, Great Divide will always hold a very special place in my heart. But there are a host of other pleasures to be had with this record, just a little better than Feeling Strangely Fine, its far more successful follow-up (indeed, combine the stellar moments of both - specifically, "Closing Time", "Built To Last", "Singing In My Sleep", "DND", "Never You Mind" and "This Will Be My Year" with "FNT", "If I Run", "Great Divide", "Down In Flames", Falling", "In Another Life" and "I Feel For You" - you'll have one of THE all-time best albums in any genre, guaranteed). Classic Seventies AM radio touches abound, especially on the sardonic reincarnation parable "In Another Life", which closely references the Beach Boys' haunting harmonies by way of "Wishing You Were Here" (Chicago) and "Shannon" (Henry Gross) while still remaining original. Nor is it the only evocation; the title track is a gently surging, most happy marriage of Hawthorne's favorite sons and the Moody Blues. Semisonic stumbled badly with 2001's All About Chemistry and never regained its footing; listening (after much assumed resistance) to the samples for .....Chemistry provided by this site, I realize that it deserved a kinder fate - in some ways the material isn't at all far-removed from Songs About Jane, the final Kara's Flowers sessions that ultimately carried Maroon 5 to superstardom. It's not that the songs are terribly inferior; there just seems to be an element missing from the mix, and for me, it's unquestionably the 'crunch factor' that vitalizes both Great Divide and Feeling Strangely Fine. And had the music charmed in equal measure to those very cool suggestive but classy cover graphics, Semisonic's future might not now be in doubt (although the trio reunited in July 2006 for an impressive 7th Avenue Minneapolis gig, giving their fans hope for another record). Lead singer and composer Dan Wilson subsequently pursued a modest solo career, collaborating with Bleu for the absolutely stunning "Something's Gotta Give" but was elemental in the Dixie Chicks' quantum leap of kindred faith with Take The Long Way, while drummer Jacob Slichter wrote 'So You Wanna Be A Rock n' Roll Star', referred to by some book reviewers as one of the most witheringly funny and accurate accounts of popular music's business end. It would be interesting to see if I made it on to any of its pages but that, as they say, is another story.....(post-script: I didn't, and it is - really couldn't put it down!) Anyhow, one or two listens and it's abundantly clear that Great Divide demands a spot on any discerning music lover's 'go-to, no-brainer' list of favorite records."
Jeans Yoder | Yoder, KS | 06/23/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"As the first major record debut, Semisonic's Great Divide is an album not to be shunned. This is one of the albums probably bought only after the success of "Closing Time" for most fans, but that's ok. It's probably best to start off w/ FSF anyway. Here, the Great Divide is more springy in it's music and less dramatic as w/ FSF. "f.n.t." or fascinating new thing is a nice opener. They used it for that bacardi silver commercial, only thing was, that drink wasn't fascinating at all. The best song, and maybe the only single, "If I Run" is a classic. One listen will get you hooked, and will be begging for more. Songs such as "The Prize", "Down in Flames", and "In Another Life" each have an important role for making this album great. There are some that perhaps could be better such as the title track, "Across the Great Divide", "Delicious", and "No One Else" which aren't bad, but aren't exactly something that will knock your socks off. A great debut for 2 later better albums."
eserhan | ISTANBUL, ESENTEPE Turkey | 09/03/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"One of my favorite CDs. And a very rare one of those CDs, which you can't listen, unless you're in a certain mood and the world around you is in the same mood.All of the songs, even the sad ones, have such a certain upbeat, new, comforting, confidently fresh tone to them that I personally can not listen Great Divide unless it's spring (or autumn) and I feel great. I had the privilige to listen the Band live in Chicago back in 1998 and would recommend everybody to see them in concert. Not only for the lively performance you'd expect from them but to just see three guys doing what they love to do, enjoying themselves, really caring for the fans and absorbing and reflecting back all the positive feedback in their music. I'm all keeps!"