After a 20-year hiatus, Semisonic just released “You’re Not Alone” from their album also titled You’re Not Alone due to be release September 19. The band is best known for their 1998 single “Closing Time” which reached number one on the US Billboard Modern Rock Tracks chart.
22 years later, the band’s singer and songwriter Dan Wilson says “I wrote ‘You’re Not Alone’ at a time when a lot of people, including me, were feeling isolated and despairing about the state of the world and the direction our country was going. We recorded the song last year and I’m really happy that it’s now coming out.”
The song is very catchy. The intro starts with a guitar and bass playing in D major. The guitar sounds clean, played with little-to-no effects.
The first verse begins with the same instruments and tone colors playing as the intro with the exception of the vocals. The vocals sound mostly pop rock, but also a little indie and folk. The lyrics and the melody are snappy. The first verse is: Everybody knows that the world is wrong / Only thing to do is write a song / That’s one way to take a wrong and make it alright. So, drink up your time, take a pill for the pain / Come out of the dark and in from the rain / I want to see your face in the glow of the firelight.
The drums start halfway through the first verse with a strait plain kick-kick-snare beat at approximately 90 beats per minute. It ends with an eighth-note guitar crescendo buildup synced up with the guitar timbre going from clean to distorted.
Next comes the pre-chorus. It’s quite catchy with bass, drums and guitars playing intermittent pairs of eight-notes in unison while the vocals transition into a water flow-like word painting melody. The pre-chorus is: The water’s warm / And no one ever told you life was long / And believed it. You’ve always known / There’s someone out there watching as you go / Just a feeling.
While everything sounds great, the chorus is the hook. The first chorus is made up of a tuneful one line “You’re not alone” followed by a rhythm lead rhythm lead guitar line. The second chorus adds an extra “You’re not alone”. The song ends on the third chorus where four “You’re not alone” are sung.
The song has a bridge that contains light political lyrics. Who you gonna believe, the TV or your beating heart? / You wanna fight the power or tell it the truth / Better take the fight to the voting booth / Sharpen your senses ‘cause you’re gonna have to see in the dark.
There is a simple outro at the end of the last chorus where the overdriven guitar holds on one note for a measure or two.
Wilson says “Coincidentally, the song is coming out when both a global pandemic and racial justice protests are compelling us to reimagine our relationships to each other and the communities we live in,” he continued. “Just as I had hoped when I first wrote it, I hope the song will communicate a sense of connection and comfort, an awareness that we’re not alone.”
You’re Not Alone Tracklist:
- You’re Not Alone
- All It Would Take
- Basement Tapes
- Don’t Make Up Your Mind