×

Dan Wilson – ‘Free Life’

With guidance from Rick Rubin, Wilson's first solo disc "Free Life" returns the singer-songwriter to familiar turf.

The former frontman for Minneapolis’ Semisonic (and before that, the underrated Trip Shakespeare) has been lying low as a performer for the past few years, instead penning songs for Rachel Yamagata, Mike Doughty and the Dixie Chicks (with whom he won a Grammy for “Not Ready to Make Nice”). With guidance from Rick Rubin, Wilson’s first solo disc “Free Life” returns the singer-songwriter to familiar turf – in the studio winding his way around his brand of bittersweet pop melodies.

“Free Life” lays it on too thick at times, crossing the line between inoffensive adult-oriented pop and over-produced schmaltz, but still delivers some thrilling rock hooks. Standouts include the downbeat “Breathless,” the driving “Against History” and his take on the Chicks’ “Easy Silence.” With friends in high places, Wilson was able to round up a stellar supporting cast for the album, including his Semisonic bandmates John Munson and Jacob Slichter, as well as Mason Jennings, Heartbreaker Benmont Tench, Jayhawk Gary Louris and Sheryl Crow.

Dan Wilson - 'Free Life'

American Recordings

More Music

  • BTS

    BTS Opens Up About the Past, Creativity and Inspiration for 'Map of the Soul: 7' (Watch)

    With a reported four million copies in worldwide pre-orders and their stars shining brighter than ever thanks to chart-topping albums and playing the world’s biggest stages, BTS’ just-released “Map of the Soul: 7” was sure to be a success no matter what it sounded like. But instead of resting on starpower, the record-breaking group decided [...]

  • Naim McNair Named Def Jam Senior

    Naim McNair Named Def Jam Senior VP of A&R

    In what may be the first signal of the next era of Def Jam Recordings, Naim McNair has been named senior VP of A&R at the company. The move comes just hours after it was confirmed that Paul Rosenberg, chairman and CEO of the label since January of 2018, is leaving his post at the [...]

  • Paul Rosenberg

    Paul Rosenberg Stepping Down as Head of Def Jam

    UPDATED: Paul Rosenberg, chairman and CEO of Def Jam Recordings since January of 2018, is leaving his post at the company, a source close to the situation confirms to Variety. Jeff Harleston, general counsel for Def Jam parent company Universal Music Group, will serve as interim chief until a new CEO is appointed; he will [...]

  • Yola

    Yola to Play Sister Rosetta Tharpe in Baz Luhrmann's 'Elvis' (EXCLUSIVE)

    British musician Yola will play singer Sister Rosetta Tharpe — dubbed the Godmother of rock and roll — in Baz Luhrmann’s musical drama “Elvis,” sources tell Variety. The Warner Bros. film stars Austin Butler in the title role, Tom Hanks as Elvis Presley’s manager Colonel Tom Parker, Maggie Gyllenhaal as Presley’s mother and Rufus Sewell [...]

  • Tim McGraw Announces Return to Big

    Tim McGraw Announces Return to Big Machine in Country Radio Seminar Surprise

    Tim McGraw announced his return to the Big Machine in a surprise appearance at a Country Radio Seminar luncheon being hosted by the label group Friday in Nashville. “Uh, Tim, I missed you!” deadpanned a beaming Scott Borchetta, Big Machine’s founder, president and CEO, as McGraw emerged from behind a curtain. “I missed you too!” [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content