Gin Blossoms Bear Fruit

The Gin Blossoms have a new album coming out on February

13, titled Congratulations I'm Sorry. It's been three and a half long

years since the release of their last album. The double platinum New

Miserable Experience came out in the summer of 1992. In an effort to

rationalize the nearly four years between albums, vocalist Robin Wilson

observes that "Everything that's happened in the last four years has helped to

make us a stronger band and stronger individuals." Hopefully they're even

stronger songwriters. This album was produced by John Hampton (he also produced

New Miserable Experience) at the infamous Ardent Studios in Memphis,

one-time home of Big Star. The twelve songs on the new disc are in the same

vein as the stuff on New Miserable Experience, songs like "Follow You

Down," "As Long As It Matters," "Day Job," "Virginia," and "Competition Smile."

("Till I Hear It From You" from the Empire Records soundtrack does not

appear on the record). But what about the songwriting? The two hits off the

last album--"Hey Jealousy," and "Found Out About You"--were written by


Hopkins, who committed suicide. Robin Wilson characterizes the new CD as "like

the band's name; it sounds pretty, but it represents something a bit darker."

Adding immodestly that "we seem to manage to write some really commercial songs

without having to try too hard, but it's also nice to put something in a song

that means something to people, or creates a little bit of mystery. Or at least

inspires a little bit of confusion." This from a man who counted a double UFO

sighting as one of the highlights of the recording process.