DATE: MARCH 12, 1999
FROM: MARCEE RONDAN/ MITCH SCHNEIDER
"An album that is likely to be one of the most heralded works of the year…"
–Robert Hilburn, LOS ANGELES TIMES, February 14, 1999
"In the best of these often heartwarmingly candid moments of self-examination, Westerberg extends his art rather than compromises it."
–Robert Hilburn, LOS ANGELES TIMES, February 28, 1999
"…With this album he's taken a leap beyond in terms of songcraft while restoring believable sentiment to his lyrics…The sparse, heavily acoustic arrangements of the ballads, and even the rockers, allow both the singer and the song to shine. By comparison, the caliber of Westerberg's songwriting exposes the recent batch of hyped troubadours for the half-baked talents they are."
–Robert Cherry, ALTERNATIVE PRESS, March 1999
"Improbably and wonderfully, the legendary Replacements screw-up produced a remarkable (and remarkably mature) album."
— RJ Smith, SPIN, March 1999
"Suicaine Gratifaction…more than offsets its handful of rockers with spare, delicately arranged acoustic numbers…Westerberg continues to chronicle the shocks and pleasures of his journey."
–Anthony DeCurtis, ROLLING STONE, March 4, 1999
"Gratifaction is a reminder of why Westerberg's songwriting first provided such a jolt."
–Mark Bautz, ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY, Feb. 19-26, 1999
"A peripheral scan of the song titles on Westerberg's third solo album suggest a terminal depression: He turns `It's A Wonderful Life' into `It's A Wonderful Lie,' and `The Best Thing That Ever Happened' to `The Best Thing That Never Happened.' But the sounds themselves belie an exuberance that shows Westerberg at the height of his powers…with lyrics that both make you laugh and draw blood, wedded to melodies both raw and humworthy."
–Matt Diehl, INTERVIEW, March 1999
"…there is much to recommend Westerberg's third post-Replacements solo CD…throughout, his lyrics are both sad and unsettling, but the minimalist melodies he ekes out from both piano and guitar are lovely and packed with feeling."
–Steve Doughtery, PEOPLE, March 1, 1999
"Westerberg is no less honest or authentic in these mellower solo musings. He's simply wiser and, unlike some denial-shackled rockers of the era, willing to admit he's older. Though often despairing, his introspective lyrics serve as reality checkups, not whine-fests."
–Edna Gundersen, USA TODAY, February 23, 1999
"It's the lyrics that represent the real left curve in Westerberg's solo pattern. He seems less settled or appreciative than he did on `Eventually,' but that's had a positive effect on his language. He's more playful again, fidgeting brilliantly with words, filling them with more of his old self-deprecation…"
–Jim Farber, NEW YORK DAILY NEWS, February 14, 1999
"Brutally honest and insistently forlorn, it is anchored by a handful of ballads that feature Westerberg's gut-wrenching vocals over spare, piano driven arrangements that sound like a revelation even though the heartache feels painfully familiar. It's like a visit from an old friend who not only lived to tell the tale but surprises you with new wisdom and confidence."
–Joe Donnelly, LA WEEKLY, Feb. 26-March 4, 1999
"With his third solo effort, Paul Westerberg has created his equivalent to Frank Sinatra's autumnal September of My Years."
–Jon Matsumoto, BAM, Feb. 12, 1999
"Westerberg's third solo album is the fullest expression yet of his post-Replacements writing style–hook-laden, self-lacerating, a crooked smile spackling another heartache."
–E! ONLINE, February 23, 1999
"Westerberg finally sounds comfortable in his singer-songwriter skin…Westerberg finds a relaxed style that suits his bar-fly voice and double-edged lyrics."
–Greg Kot, CHICAGO TRIBUNE, February 18, 1999
"Suicaine Gratifaction is a stark, deeply emotional piece of work… Suicaine Gratifaction moves the listener like nothing in Westerberg's past."
–ROCKLOVE, February 16, 1999
"On Suicaine Gratifaction, Westerberg's third solo album, the craftsmanship is intact; in fact, this is the most tuneful, vivid, consistent batch of songs he has written…"
–Geoffrey Himes, REQUEST, April 1999
"Once a great songwriter for a rock `n' roll band, he's now simply a great songwriter."
–Russell Hall, NO DEPRESSION, March/April 1999
"If his songs have grown up, then Westerberg's voice, once a scorched, passionate wail, has also matured. The often unpredictable melodies and spare arrangements of the songs showcase his growing ability to use his voice as an added instrument of expression. Indeed, a great part of the appeal of Suicaine Gratifaction is the chance to hear Westerberg's vocals in such an uncluttered setting."
–Bob Mehr, NEW TIMES (Phoenix), February 25-March 3, 1999