First Appeared at The Music Box, November 2003, Volume 10, #11
Written by John Metzger
In 1989, Edie Brickell and New Bohemians took the U.S. market by storm. Shooting Rubber Bands at the Stars, the groupís magnificent debut, went platinum, and its first single What I Am landed squarely in the Top Ten. Though its follow-up Ghost of a Dog was a superb outing that improved upon the bandís formula, the album was overlooked by critics and failed to move consumers, causing the ensembleís 15 minutes of fame to come to a abrupt conclusion when New Bohemians disbanded under the weight of so much pressure. Needing a break from the music business, Brickell settled down to enjoy motherhood and domestic life with fellow folk singer Paul Simon, resurfacing briefly in 1994 to release the slickly produced, supremely sterile, and utterly disappointing solo effort Picture Perfect Morning.
In the intervening years, Brickell has kept a low profile, quietly taking guitar lessons and writing songs that went unrecorded, until she stepped into a studio with Bob Dylan-associate and fellow Texan Charlie Sexton. The result is Volcano, an album that radiates a soft, supple tenderness while losing the awkward hesitancy that ravaged Picture Perfect Morning. Despite the passage of nearly a decade, Brickellís voice has lost none of its elasticity, and she uses her pliant pipes to turn songs such as the Norah Jones-influenced Take a Walk, the Sting-meets-Paul Simon groove Ooh La La, and the soulful single Rush Around into wispy slices of wistful, weightless beauty.
Without question, there are moments when Brickell struggles to recapture the organic edge of her work with New Bohemians, and at times, it seems as if she is still searching for her own space as a solo artist. More often than not, however, she finds it within the dreamy arrangements that adorn her thoughtful lyrics, making Volcano a firm foundation upon which to build her long overdue and very welcome return to the stage. Ĺ
Volcano is available
from Barnes & Noble. To order, Click Here!
1 Star: Pitiful
2 Stars: Listenable
3 Stars: Respectable
4 Stars: Excellent
5 Stars: Can't Live Without It!!
Copyright © 2003 The Music Box