In 1993, fans of Soul Asylum’s hit song, “Runway Train,” from their equally triumphant album, Grave Dancers Union, never would have guessed the chorus to the song would befit what laid on the band’s horizon: Runaway train never going back/Wrong way on a one-way track/Seems like I should be getting somewhere/Somehow I’m neither here nor there. Nevertheless, after releasing a successful follow-up album, Let Your Dim Light Shine, in 1995, and a disappointing flop in 1998, Candy From a Stranger, the band officially derailed.
The “long yawn,” as guitarist Daniel Murphy describes the hiatus to the Associated Press, was vital. "We really needed it. We were sick of each other, we were sick of the music industry, the business," Murphy said.
The Minneapolis-based group, including Murphy, singer Dave Pirner and bassist and founder Karl Mueller, finally reunited for recording in the spring of 2004 – a move that was fueled by Mueller’s diagnosis with throat cancer. Initially, the Associated Press reported, Mueller responded well to chemotherapy, and the band was optimistic he would return as its touring bassist.
"I sure thought it (recording) was gonna keep him alive, you know, because it was very important to him," Pirner said. "I mean, it had this great sense of 'We're gonna make this record and we're gonna go back on tour, we're gonna be just like we were, and everything's gonna be fine,' and it was a real earnest belief that things could be normal again."
Unfortunately, in June of 2005 – just more than a year after his diagnosis – Mueller succumbed to his illness. But before he passed, he was able to lay down parts on several new tracks with the band. Now, eight years after Soul Asylum’s last studio album was released, “The Silver Lining” has emerged.
Part Soul Asylum reincarnation and part tribute to the man who created them, this new album is a return to the band’s glory days. As the band describes on their Web site, the full-length album is every bit as quirky and off-centered cut-to-the-bone rock as their hardcore fans have come to expect, an indication that the band has lost none of its edge. The new Soul Asylum songs--"Crazy Mixed Up World," "Standing Water," "Success Is Not So Sweet," "All Is Well," "Good For You," "Lately," "Oxygen," and the lead single "Stand Up And Be Strong"--capture the band at its best: swinging, soothing, and rocking.
"It makes me think of Karl," said Pirner. "It was long overdue to record exclusively in Minneapolis because we hadn't done so in 15 years and the natural surroundings of home was something we needed. We feel extra proud of it because we did it on our own."