Paul Westerberg has made a career of messy-haired misery -- first as the voice of college-rock superheroes The Replacements and later as a Singles-era, Dylan-esque solo artist. On "Suicane Gratification," his third solo album, Westerberg continues to age gracelessly into a victim of both the music industry and musical irrelevance. Produced by the ubiquitous, middle-aged, messy-haired Don Was, the album teeters about with forced slacker charm, aiming for something of a Tom Waits appeal but achieving more of a suicide-hued Tom Petty emptiness.
That isn't to say there's no charm to be found here. "It's a Wonderful Lie," the first track, is clever in spite of itself. "It's a wonderful lie," sings Westerberg, "I still get by on those." But the born-loser motif runs dry by mid-album, where similar assertions like "The Best Thing That Never Happened" and "Final Hurrah" are redundant and slightly embarrassing. "Suicane Gratification" (the title, reports Westerberg, means nothing to anyone but him) finds an old friend in a bad patch doing nothing at all to get out of it.
We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Orlando Weekly. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Orlando Weekly, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.
Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Orlando Weekly works for you, and your support is essential.
Our small but mighty local team works tirelessly to bring you high-quality, uncensored news and cultural coverage of Central Florida.
Unlike many newspapers, ours is free – and we'd like to keep it that way, because we believe, now more than ever, everyone deserves access to accurate, independent coverage of their community.
Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing pledge, your support helps keep Orlando’s true free press free.