Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Review: Lisa Loeb "No Fairy Tale"

Lisa Loeb, who will always hold the record for the first unsigned artist who achieved a #1 smash hit (1994's unforgettable "Stay (I Missed You))", returns after 8 years with a brand new studio effort. "No Fairy Tale" finds Loeb treading on familiar songwriting ground, but sonically the album is unlike any she has done to date. Consequently, "No Fairy Tale" is going to take many by surprise - this is not 90s coffeehouse Loeb, but a pop rocking singer/songwriter full of energy and urgency.

The new sound is likely attributable to excellent co-production by Chad Gilbert of punk band New Found Glory. There are a dozen brilliant new tracks - not a dud in the bunch, including a couple selections with Tegan and Sara as collaborating writers. The record blasts out of the speakers with the feisty title cut before launching into another catchy rocker, "The 90's". While written from a relationship perspective, this song underscores that those days are gone and Loeb is making music for the here and now. Witty lyrics, sharp melodic hooks, and ear-pleasing harmonies abound. Favorite tracks include "Sick, Sick, Sick" and the outstanding "Matches". There are also some 90s-era songs to delight old school fans - check out "Ami, I'm Sorry" or "The Worst". The Spotify version also has some wonderful acoustic versions of key tracks.

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