Pop/Rock, Alternative Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock, American Underground, College Rock

Album Review

All of the slick production of Pleased to Meet Me couldn't prepare listeners for the glossy sound of Don't Tell a Soul, the Replacements' last-ditch attempt at mainstream success. Bathed with washes of synthesizers, shining guitars, backing vocals and a shimmering, AOR production, Don't Tell a Soul puts an end to the Replacements and begins Paul Westerberg's solo career. The bulk of the songs are self-consciously mature, as Westerberg looks back on his career (the autobiographical "Talent Show") and is haunted by the past ("Rock N Roll Ghost," "Darlin' One"), as he attempts to refashion himself as a craftsman. A few of these attempts work, particularly the country-rock ballad "Achin' to Be" and the arena rock stab "I'll Be You," but the lite-funk workout "Asking Me Lies" and the stuttering "I Won't" are flat-out embarrassing. And the rest of the album suffers from Westerberg's determination to be adult. The songs are too self-consciously mature, and the band functions as a supporting act for the lyrics, which lack the unpretentious poetry of his best work. Ironically, Westerberg's desire to be an "adult" is the reason why radio ignored Don't Tell a Soul, because it meant that the record lacked both rockers or power ballads which would have given them air-time. And most old fans found the production too heavy to make sorting through the album worthwhile.
Stephen Thomas Erlewine, Rovi

Track Listing

  1. Talent Show
  2. Back to Back
  3. We'll Inherit the Earth
  4. Achin' to Be
  5. They're Blind
  6. Anywhere's Better Than Here
  7. Asking Me Lies
  8. I'll Be You
  9. I Won't
  10. Rock 'n' Roll Ghost
  11. Darlin' One