Review: Edie Brickell & New Bohemians – Stranger Things
It’s 1989 and Edie Brickell and the New Bohemians have released their debut album Shooting Rubberbands at the Stars. Folk-pop indie band with both hooks and deep lyrics. It’s a huge critical success. It’s also a big commercial success led by the hit single “What I Am”. And that voice! Sassy, knowing, sweet, smart – you’d pay money to hear this chick sing the phonebook. The next year the band released their sophomore album Ghost of a Dog. Didn’t do so well and that was it. Brickell made the news by marrying Paul Simon of Simon & Garfunkel fame and having a baby. She released a couple of solo albums that didn’t have much of an impact but the band that had once seemed so promising disappeared after Ghost of a Dog.
Until Now. Sixteen years later Brickell and the New Bohemians with 3 of the original 5 members have released a new album, Stranger Things. And they’re not doing the old-fart nostalgia thing that’s been embarrasing bands and their “Hey, we’re still cool!” fans of late. Sounds great, right? Well, the idea sounds great. The album? Not so much. This music is polite to the point of boring. Soft-rock for the middle age, upper class lifestyle. The voice? you can tell it’s the same woman but that’s about it. The life, the lilt that made “What I Am'” so mesmerizing is gone. Result of over a decade being married to a man who is known for his “it’s all about me all the time” attitude? middle age? living the privileged life of music royalty? Who knows, but it’s gone. Shame, that. My first thought on hearing this album was “Why?” Why wait sixteen years and then come back with this? Why bother? Repeated listenings didn’t provide an answer. A major disappointment.
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