Lisa Loeb – [Album]

Thursday, 24 January 2013

It's been almost twenty years now since Lisa Loeb stole the public's attention for a minute with “Stay” (the pop ballad which buoyed the singer's sophomore album to the top of the charts briefly) and almost exactly as long since the singer became completely overlooked because of more “serious” singers like Sarah McLachlan, Jewel and Juliana Hatfield. Since then, Loeb released a few more “serious” records which ended up garnering negligible interest (Hello Lisa – Loeb's pseudo-tribute to the Hello Kitty craze almost came close but fell short of expectation) before exiting the increasingly troubled waters of alt-rock and jumping into the kiddie pool (she made children's music) for a little while. Such a move was a safe one from a “career salvation” standpoint, but it was sort of inevitable that Loeb would be back to alt-rock eventuallt from the day she traded careers; the tendency to return to the form which broke you into the business is common and no one stays away forever. No Fairy Tale is Lisa Loeb's return to rock and, shockingly, the singer earnestly proves that she has a bit of mettle about her from minute one; with a full band behind her once again and a more wry view in her eye, this album proves that this once simpering kitten of a singer has grown up and, while she's not yowling like a beast, she does show listeners that she knows how to use her claws.

After the album's title track shows listeners that Loab can rock a little bit, the singer proceeds to slam the book closed on the past with the dismissive rocker “The '90s” (check out lyrics like “Those were the '90s/ Time flies so fast/ You say you loved me then/ But I don't want to go back”) and starts looking forward, boldly.

…Well, looking forward boldly is the desire, if not the consistent drive on No Fairy Tale. While it does start strongly, Loeb does occasionally slip back into “simper-ville” on songs like the appropriately entitled “Weak Day” (appropriate because it's also a weak-handed song), “Sick, Sick, Sick” (which sounds nothing like the Queens Of The Stone Age song of the same name) and “Ami, I'm Sorry” but does actively try to keep the “rocker” backdrop erect through songs like “A Hot Minute” (which features the fantastic image created by the words, “I stole a car and drove around behind you/ giving you my saddest look”), “Matches” and “Married” (neither of which are as hot as the could be, but they're not bad) and culminating with “The Worst" – where Loeb spits the words, “I've been breaking my heart for the last ten years/ And it looks good, and it feels good too” at any potential critics who might step up to challenge her. It's a potent stance, and one that Loeb holds better than any reader might think until they've heard it.

Of, course, wondering how long it's going to last needs to be addressed. There's no question that Loeb makes the shift into being a stronger-minded singer work and she really sells the image that she's back a little older, a little wiser and a little tougher well throughout No Fairy Tale's run-time but, no matter how strong she gets and how well listeners are sold, they'll still be wondering how long any of it is going to last. She has a valid base to build on with No Fairy Tale, now all she'll have to do is build on it with some more material. If she doesn't, this return could be over before it starts but, if she does keep it up, she may have a career worth resurrecting on her hands. It sounds good, but only time will tell if Lisa Loeb is willing to work for it.



No Fairy Tale
will be released on January 29, 2013 by 429 Records. Pre-order it here on Amazon .

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