While the first single from Feeling Strangely Fine doesn't necessarily show it very well, there is a lot of Ben Folds Five in Semisonic. Both employ a variety of different instruments, thus creating a sound that is sometimes very, very comparable. This is never more evident than on the fourth track, "Never You Mind." It doesn't help that Semisonic lead singer Dan Wilson adds his piano to many of the album's tracks, and that Semisonic and Ben Folds Five seem to share a dominant motif, sensuality. Feeling Strangely Fine, however, allows the motif to overtake the album. Track after track shows that Semisonic needs to use the considerable songwriting talents of Wilson, Jacob Slichter, and John Munson to further explore other areas of everyday life. The worst example of Semisonic's sensual downfall is the song "Completely Pleased." Not only is the song musically inferior to the majority of the other tracks, lyrics like "I wanted to see you come/come, completely pleased" are a little more than anybody needs to hear. Most of the album's lyrics are just as revealing as "Completely Pleased," just not quite as revolting.
Share this page
AllMusic Review by David M. Childers