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Suicaine Gratifaction

63 customer reviews

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Audio CD, February 23, 1999
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Editorial Reviews

Few artists have been so revered and so lambasted simultaneously as Paul Westerberg. That's what happens when you front one of the greatest rock bands of the '80s (the punkish, youthfully disillusioned Replacements) and then can't reach such lofty heights again. Finally, with Suicaine Gratifaction, Westerberg stops trying to be that renegade rocker. Instead, his third solo effort is practically adult-sounding, a mostly somber collection of sweetly ragged folk and rock (often piano-based) that reveals the 38-year-old songsmith more comfortable in his own artistic skin than maybe anytime previously. Thankfully not too comfortable, for Westerberg is wondrous when sounding wounded and worn, which is often the case on this demon-confronting effort. The mostly solid Suicaine Gratifaction is maybe his best effort in a dozen years. --Neal Weiss


The former Replacements leader returns to basement basics on this loose and lovely lo-fi effort. -- Entertainment Weekly

The minimalist melodies [Westerberg] ekes out from both piano and guitar are lovely and packed with feeling. -- People

Though often despairing, his introspective lyrics serve as reality checkups, not whine-fests. Tidy melodies and schmaltz-free vocals prevent regretful tunes from sinking into sentimentality. -- USA Today

Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. It's A Wonderful Lie
  2. Self-Defense
  3. Best Thing That Never Happened
  4. Lookin' Out Forever
  5. Born For Me
  6. Final Hurrah
  7. Tears Rolling Up Our Sleeves
  8. Fugitive Kind
  9. Sunrise Always Listens
  10. Whatever Makes You Happy
  11. Actor In The Street
  12. Bookmark

Product Details

  • Audio CD (February 23, 1999)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Capitol
  • ASIN: B00000I40T
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (63 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #38,453 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 1, 2001
Format: Audio CD
Stop moaning about the demise of the greatest band of them all. Yeah, I lived the Replacements, I seen the Replacements, I still listen to 'Tim' and 'Let It Be'. Yeah, they are important to me and nobody will ever take that away from me.
Paul westerberg has produced an album here that most artists would die for, and all you seem to read is people saying 'sellout' Get a grip. Those days are gone and Westerberg has produced a classic album that he probably had to turn himself inside out for. Have you ever known an artist to hit you where it hurts, relate things that you wouldn't know where to start with, or be so brutally honest?
This album is great.
PS The Replacements were in a different age and to hark for their reformation is foolish. Lets just be thankful Paul is still around!!
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By M. Casarino on May 8, 2004
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
What can you say about an artist who begins an album with "I get up from a dream and I look for rain?" A former punk who doesn't let the drums kick in until track 3? A man who would steal the piano line from "The Way We Were," and then give that song the lyric "your world is a balloon to me, I poke a hole and see what's inside?" A guy who would write a song equating an actor with a Christ-like martyr?
You'd say he was an original, that's what.
"Suicaine Gratifaction" is Paul's best solo work to date - an intensely personal, genre-defying lo-fi album with incredible coherence. Paul loves his hooks, and delivers some great ones, along with his patented wordplay. He turns depression into black humor with "It's a Wonderful Lie" and "Sunrise Always Listens," gets exuberant with "Fugitive Kind" and "Lookin' Out Forever," goes romantic with "Born for Me," and then gets delivers a heartbreaking character-study, "Bookmark," that might be the most piercing, and melodic, song he's ever created.
Even the filler is good. "Best Thing that Never Happened" is overlong, but it has a great groove. "Tears Rolling Up Our Sleeves" can't quite justify its title, and "Final Hurrah" gets a little lazy - but B-level Westerberg is better than most artists A stuff. "Suicaine Gratifaction" is Paul's most complete and entertaining album - get it and rediscover what it means to be a true music fan.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Timothy Bailey on June 21, 2000
Format: Audio CD
Simply the fact that the most stirring songs on this album are minimally produced further backs testament that Paul Westerberg is one of the greatest "bare-bones" songwriters to ever grace the popular music scene. "Best Thing That Never Happened" sounds like it was recorded from a car in the parking lot outside of the studio with a dictation cassette recorder, which only adds to it's impact. It's refreshing to be reminded that as long as songs are truly written with skill and heart, they don't need whistles and bells to move a listener. This is not the type of album one wants to just plop in the player and listen to passively while cleaning their apartment or driving their car. This is the kind of album that invites you to simply sit in a chair and LISTEN to it. I furthermore can't conceive of anyone listening to "Born For Me" without thinking of someone. This album in my opinion is a healthy dose of the real deal.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Russell B. Farr on March 15, 2000
Format: Audio CD
A lot of Replacements fans won't like this one.
This album, Westerberg's third, is the album we all knew Paul had in him. It's the album by the Paul that gave us "Unsatisfied", "Answering Machine" and "Skyway", the simple songs from the heart. It's Paul playing to us from his kitchen, his living room, he is opening up and sharing. From the delightful "It's a Wonderful Lie" (a song about growing up) to "Sunrise Always Listens" (a gentle, intimate song), this is an album to put on, lay back and listen.
And I love it.
This album is Paul saying, "This is the album I want to do". I think for too long he has been forced to wear the badge that says he used to be in the Replacements, this time he's wearing the shirt that says, "I am Paul Westerberg".
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Novel name on July 1, 1999
Format: Audio CD
I bought 'Suicaine Gratification' from Amazon, recently, though I'm such a huge fan of Westerberg's stuff that I almost didn't. I was afraid I'd be disappointed. I didn't love 'Eventually', and I'd heard mixed reports of 'Suicaine', and even some of the praise seemed to be for things I expected not to like. Like: 'mature'. (Yuck. _I'll_ never grow up, if I haven't by now, I guess -I'm in my 40s!) Or 'gentle' (hell, I don't know if I ever liked gentle, though I guess Westerberg's is some of the best gentle I've ever heard). This is only the third time I'm hearing it (of course, typing and listening isn't _really_ listening, but hearing it, anyway), and I feel compelled, as I do when I hear Westerberg's best, to proselytize. It IS Paul at his best. NOT (particularly) 'mature' in my opinion (what's so frigging mature about 'trying to lose these jerks'? And I notice he still can't wait; is still talking to himself). Nor 'gentle'. (I'm hearing 'Fugitive Kind' right now, which sounds to me like a reworked 'Silver Naked Ladies' (much better lyrics) /'World Class Fad' combo -2 '14 Songs' rockier tracks, No?) Poetry: it's still Paul. Uniquely Westerberg, I think. Who else has sunrise finishing his sentences? Tears running UP his sleeves? (What the hell does that mean? I wouldn't even swear Westerberg knows -who cares? It sounds good.) Now it sounds like he's got someone nailed in his hands and feet -crucified? Hell, even the master imager Lennon just came out and said crucify when he meant crucify, didn't he? Westerberg ALWAYS comes up with a slightly different way to say it (whatever 'it' might be). He _paints_ it. In words. Gives me pictures in my head. (Always has, and today it's looking like he always will.) And the music sounds pure Westerberg to me.Read more ›
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