This is great stuff
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I'm not sure if I think Dave Pirner possesses a real songwriting genius or not. Sometimes, like "Spinnin'" he does. But others, like "Bitter Pill," he doesn't. I wish we got more songs from Dan Murphy on Soul Asylum's albums. I've never heard a song by Dan that I didn't find brilliant. Fortunately we get one by Dan, "Gullible's Travels," and one he co-wrote with Dave "Easy Street," and both stand as highlights to the album. While the title of the first sounds like the cheesy catchwordy claptrap that's clouding many of the airwaves now, it is actually a very heartfelt song, with excellent lyricism, and an arrangement different than anything Soul Asylum had experimented with before.The biggest problem with this album is the production. It's still slick, but in a deadedned way, instead of the shimmering Hang Time. You aren't really allowed to hear the music for what it is, as everything is reined in way too soon. For the most part, though, this is an extraordinary album. And it's sad that it is the last album of that sort we've heard from Soul Asylum to date. Three experiments in mediocrity since this. We'll see, hopefully the next one will be better. If you like this, check out Dan's side-project, Golden Smog (especially the Weird Tales album). From Made to be Broken through this Soul Asylum had a string of albums almost on par with mid-period Replacements work (I'm a rabid Replacements fan, so I'll always say they're the best of the Minneapolis trinity, but Soul Asylum fanatics will tell you otherwise.), that has proven extremetly influential on music this decade (although the stupid synth-pop that was everywhere in the 80s didn't benefit one whit from it), and is at the very least a place to see where some of your favorite bands got their ideas and how they were influenced. It's truly an excellent record, a necessity to anyone's record collection. If you've heard "Runaway Train" and are interested in Soul Asylum, get Hang Time or this instead of Grave Dancers Union. Grave Dancers Union is a lousy introduction into this band, as it represents very little of what the band had been about before that record, as well as what they have been about since that record. If you're an alternative/indie rock fan you should already own this. So get it, if you can. The label being out of stock is a bad sign, considering A & M recently went out of business. But I'm sure there is a way it can be found, and you should make it a priority to do so."
Good. Far from timeless
thecableguy | 01/09/2007
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Chronologically, "And the Horse They Rode in On" is sandwiched between two of Soul Asylum's strongest albums: "Hang Time" and the platinum-selling "Grave Dancers Union." Sonically, the production suffers -- everyone involved seems unsure, like they're searching for a new sound -- this was around the time when Grunge was beginning to take hold, and the group was in transition from independent to major label. So, a lot of the power is taken away from Pirner and Murphy's songwriting. It's so limp, I would've traded in the album a long time ago, except they managed to include one of my all time favorite songs, "Gullible's Travels." If you're a fan of the group, you owe it to yourself to hear that one at least. You'll probably find some others to like, too. I'm picky.
I remember Winona Ryder saying she used to have a crush on another Minneapolis singer and Pirner rival, the Replacements' Paul Westerberg. Then I read an interview with Paul Westerberg where he said Winona was annoying and wished she would quit talking about him. Then one Soul Asylum record sells more copies than the entire Replacements catalog, and the next thing I hear Winona is going out with Pirner. I never did understand that. I mean, at least one person out of the three of them should feel a little degraded, shouldn't they? Do doctors or lawyers ever think about this stuff? Could this be why I still live with my parents? Maybe I could become a celebrity counselor. Winona, are you listening? I can help you!"
Pure natural brilliance
oneflashoflight | 07/22/1998
(5 out of 5 stars)
"It'd be hard to make a better American rock and roll record than this one. Displaying a song-writing genius, as well as a well-developed understanding of the roots of American popular music, Soul Asylum produces the first record that comes close to matching the sheer overwhelming beauty of their live show.While you can certainly hear the hardcore in this one (especially in the /magnificent/ drum work of Grant Young), the roots show through. It is on the basis of "... Horse" and "Hang Time" that I hold Soul Asylum to be the greatest of American rock bands. Their later pathetic output is irrelevant to the greatness that they attained for an all-to-brief period in 1988-90."