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New Miserable Experience

4.6 out of 5 stars 130 customer reviews

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Audio CD, August 4, 1992
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Editorial Reviews

Gin Blossoms ~ New Miserable Experience
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (August 4, 1992)
  • Original Release Date: August 4, 1992
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: A&M
  • ASIN: B000002GKJ
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (130 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #8,284 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
In 1992, I was the pop music editor at a Southern California newspaper when I received a promotional cassette of "New Miserable Experience." That night I popped the tape into my stereo and listened in awe as the glorious opening strains of "Lost Horizons" pealed from the speakers. With its bittersweet lyrics about hard drinking and misspent youth, "Lost Horizons" raged like some woebegone Irish shanty. To wit: "I'll drink enough of anything to make this world look new again ... I'm drunk, drunk, drunk in the gardens and the graves ..."
And I remember thinking that these weren't the trivial musings of some spoiled rock star. No, this was honest-to-God poetry composed by a genuinely tortured soul. "New Miserable Experience" devastated me so completely, I phoned my girlfriend Kathy and commanded her to come to my place IMMEDIATELY. That night we cruised the Sunset Strip with the tape blasting from the stereo. We talked about the record, and how we knew that whoever wrote the songs wasn't faking his pain. The Gin Blossoms articulated the doubt and uncertainty Kathy and I felt about our own lives, our own futures. The album became the soundtrack to our brief but unforgettable fling.
It's been nearly 10 years since that memorable drive and "New Miserable Experience" now strikes me as both an unsung masterpiece and a symbol of pop music's bygone glory. The album is part of a '90s musical explosion that spawned acclaimed recordings by Nirvana, Massive Attack, Jeff Buckley, Tool, Alice In Chains, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Dr. Dre, The Black Crowes, Soundgarden, Sarah McLachlan, Pearl Jam, Tupac, Stone Temple Pilots, The Offspring, Billy Joe Shaver, Counting Crows, Rosanne Cash, Sting, The Devlins and others.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Anyone who has ever tried to cope with their emotional problems via cases of cheap beer and knock-off Jack Daniel's will immediately relate to "New Miserable Experience", the high-water mark of the fine but tragically short-lived early-mid 90s rock band the Gin Blossoms.

It would be easy to dismiss the Blossoms as just another self-piteous rock-pop band, but the atmosphere of factory town blues, heartache, hopeless obsession with ex-girlfriends, and general drunken misery is alleviated by liberal doses of humor and self-mockery as well as some clever and even brilliant lyrics. Some of my favorites, from the lesser-known songs on the album:

"So she filled up her sails/With my wasted breath/Each one's more wasted than the other/You can bet." -- Allison Road

"When you're in the company of strangers/or some strangers you call friends...." -- Hold Me Down

"If you don't expect too much from me/You might not be let down" -- Hey Jealousy (okay, this is not a lesser known song, but I like the lyric)

"They say you can't miss/Something that you never had/so tell me why/why I should feel so bad" -- Cajun Song

"Ginmill/Rainfall/What do you remember/if at all?/Only pieces/Of the night" -- Pieces of the Night

This album was best known for producing AOR radio hits like "Hey Jealousy", "Until I Fall Away" and "I Found Out About You." They are most definetly representative of the album, but not, in my opinion, the album's best songs. Unlike most pop-rock efforts, there is virtually no filler to be found here, and the tracks that didn't make radio are every bit as good as the ones that did -- or better.
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Format: Audio CD
Let's face it, most people who like the Gin Blossoms already own "New Miserable Experience". It's nice to get a remastered edition and there's a lot of that kind of (occasionally) necessary recycling going around. What is particularly valuable, and what gets fans (and casual listeners alike) to shell out more cash for something they already own is the addition of a bonus disc (of rarities, b-sides, alternate takes, etc.). And you certainly get that with this Deluxe Addition of NME. Recently (and thankfully), most bands (record labels) who've released remastered discs and who've had the kindness to release a bonus disc along with the remaster, have kept the price essentially the same as for one cd even though the customer is getting two (see for example Iron Maiden, Elvis Costello, or Marillion). This makes the decision pretty simple for the fan--snap up the remaster and give the original away. For some reason, A&M/Universal has decided to almost double the price for this Deluxe Edition. And that's what keeps this review at 3-stars instead of 4.
NME in and of itself is a great cd with terrific rock-n-roll songs focusing on love lost, early adulthood, drinking, etc. The original version sounded great and this one is perhaps a small improvement upon that. Nevertheless, most folks will be picking this up for disc two. This two-cd set comes inclosed in a plastic slip cover with a cardboard/plastic combination fold out holding the two discs (pretty nice). It also comes with a 26-page booklet with NME lyrics (also included with the original release), a few new photographs (amusing concert t-shirts, single/EP sleeves, band, etc.), and recording date information. Nothing revelatory or historical is included.
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