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Stranger Things
     

Stranger Things

5.0 2
by Edie Brickell & New Bohemians
 
The adage that the whole can be greater than the sum of the parts resounds mighty strongly through the grooves of this disc, the first in more than a decade and a half to reunite Edie Brickell with the band that helped power her into the mainstream consciousness. While the pair of solo albums the less-than-prolific singer-songwriter loosed in the intervening years

Overview

The adage that the whole can be greater than the sum of the parts resounds mighty strongly through the grooves of this disc, the first in more than a decade and a half to reunite Edie Brickell with the band that helped power her into the mainstream consciousness. While the pair of solo albums the less-than-prolific singer-songwriter loosed in the intervening years certainly had their charms, she's clearly buoyed by the presence of her old partners and grants them plenty of room to strut their collective stuff. That sense of democracy is most palpable on Stranger Things' loosest cuts, like the sprawling album closer, "Elephants and Ants," which sets Brickell's torchy delivery against a post-bop jazz backdrop -- to remarkably engaging effect. For long stretches of the disc -- notably the Afro-Cuban workout "No Dinero" -- Brickell and company seem fixated on getting listeners to get up and shake what God gave 'em. But the singer has her groove back in more ways that just that: The title track, which bops along on a bright and breezy Kenny Withrow guitar line, finds her waxing wide-eyed and wondrous, much as she did in the New Bohemians' first incarnation. A similar vibe runs through "Oh My Soul," a gently pulsing paean to positive thinking that accentuates the sweetest elements of Brickell's vocal range. It wouldn't be entirely correct to say that Stranger Things sounds as if Brickell and her mates picked up exactly where they left off, but they have resumed their journey on a road that fans will recognize -- just miles further ahead.

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Jonathan Widran
This band has the unique distinction of being both legendary and critically acclaimed, yet also something of a glorified one-hit wonder. After a platinum debut Shooting Rubberbands at the Stars and the massive hit "What I Am," the disappointing reception of their follow-up, Ghost of a Dog, led to a breakup that's lasted over 15 years. Can the brilliance of their breakthrough be recaptured in a very different musical climate? Well, the title says it all: Stranger Things have happened. The good news is that Brickell, besides still being a powerful and quirky singer/songwriter, joined forces with her old bandmates for purely creative reasons, rather than commercial or label pressure. Adding new creative energy to the mix is producer Bryce Goggin, best known for his work with Herbie Hancock, Trey Anastasio, and Evan Dando. This new freedom allows New Bohemians to not only groove and rock happily, as on the catchy opening title track, but go jazz-wild on even more creative cuts like "No Dinero," which finds her ruminating over what to do with no money on a Saturday night as Brandon Aly (drums) and John Bush (percussion) bang out the polyrhythms; newly recruited keyboardist Carter Albrecht jams along, swaying effortlessly from rock chords to jazz improvisation. That wild percussion extends to more mainstream rockers like the blues-inflected "A Funny Thing" and "Mainline Cherry." Other tunes like "Early Morning" and "Lover Take Me" let us know that Brickell hasn't lost her touch for catchy hooks and unabashed poetic romance. When she sings at the speed of light on the exuberant "Long Lost Friend," it's almost like she's reconnecting with an audience who has stayed loyal through a few solo efforts and years of waiting for this exciting re-emergence. As a bonus, the band can boast of being the first new pop
ock signing for Fantasy Records, home of John Fogerty, in 25 years.

Product Details

Release Date:
07/25/2006
Label:
Fantasy
UPC:
0888072300309
catalogNumber:
30030

Related Subjects

Tracks

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Edie Brickell & New Bohemians   Primary Artist
Brandon Aly   Drums
Edie Brickell   Electric Guitar,Vocals
Bryce Goggin   Background Vocals
Brad Houser   Bass,Bass Clarinet,Baritone Saxophone
Kenny Withrow   Acoustic Guitar,Electric Guitar,Background Vocals,Slide Guitar
Carter Albrecht   Guitar,Harmonica,Keyboards,Background Vocals
John Bush   Percussion
Adam Sacks   Background Vocals

Technical Credits

Edie Brickell   Producer,Illustrations
Bryce Goggin   Producer,Engineer
New Bohemians   Composer
Tommy Bridwell   Engineer
Abbey Anna   Art Direction
Andrew Pham   Art Direction

Customer Reviews

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Stranger Things 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Like an old friend walking back into your life and talking about the good times and the bad. By far the best album I bought this year. Top ten favorite of all time. Good listen any time.
Guest More than 1 year ago
No, don't flip through the samples and make a snap decision based on fragments. Do it the old fashioned way... Just buy the CD! Now unwrap it and listen to it once, set it aside, then listen to it twice the next day and you'll be hooked! However you get this CD into your collection, don't pass up this great little summer of '06 surprise from Edie and the boys from Booker T. Play it on your summer vacation. Play it on your way back to college. Play it on your back porch while you're sweltering in the record heat. This CD is 100 percent real music from a genuine group who's been jamming together since they were teenagers. It drips with authenticity -- and it should -- because it's clear these talented musicians made this record solely because they want to make music. Considering the ups and downs and sideways turns the members of this band have taken over the past 20 years, this CD comes across as the outward expression of a collective mellow epiphany, a six-way harmonic convergence (a full seven years before Earth is due to become the Galactic Seed, too!) Then again, it comes across even stronger as a bunch of musician friends -- exceptionally good musician friends -- who called each other up and said, "Hey, let's jam." It's the original lineup -- free from the meddling hands of shortsighted record company pricks and impatient producers -- doing what they love to do in their own.. particular... idiom. Close your eyes and let the groove laid down by Brandon, Brad, and Bush on Mainline Cherry and others take you back to a breezy '80s summer night under the trees and stars behind Club Dada -- even if you'd never been there before. As a bonus, they've added keyboardist Carter Albrecht, who's about to become a lot more well known than he already is around town. He channels the late great Billy Preston on 45 speed (that's a record player reference) as he barrels through Long Lost Friend, and adds rich, full-bodied flavor throughout. I don't know how hard they plan to push this record into whatever the "music industry" has become. I gave up long ago trying to figure out what makes a hit record these days. It seems more than one potential "hit" lurks within the bits of this CD. But if you just go ahead and buy this record you probably won't care any more than the band itself about hits and charts and all that crap. As long as you like the music, that's what they're after here. It works for me! Check it out...