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The Way It Really Is

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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - David Sprague
Since breaking through a decade or so back with the ubiquitous, mellifluous "Stay," Lisa Loeb has been trying to convince people that she's more than just another pretty face framed in cat's-eye glasses. Her first studio outing for adults in nearly three years -- check out Catch the Moon, her first-ever kids' album -- The Way It Really Is goes a long way toward realizing that goal with its surprisingly serious tone and simple, heartfelt folk sound. The mostly spoken "Window Shopping" pairs a love-as-product tale with likably tremulous dueling guitar lines, while "Hand Me Down" pares things down even further, employing a sparse acoustic backing that's every bit as ...
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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - David Sprague
Since breaking through a decade or so back with the ubiquitous, mellifluous "Stay," Lisa Loeb has been trying to convince people that she's more than just another pretty face framed in cat's-eye glasses. Her first studio outing for adults in nearly three years -- check out Catch the Moon, her first-ever kids' album -- The Way It Really Is goes a long way toward realizing that goal with its surprisingly serious tone and simple, heartfelt folk sound. The mostly spoken "Window Shopping" pairs a love-as-product tale with likably tremulous dueling guitar lines, while "Hand Me Down" pares things down even further, employing a sparse acoustic backing that's every bit as downcast as Loeb's lyric, a not-so-fond goodbye letter. She does float back into shimmer-pop territory now and again -- the chiming "I Control the Sun" resonates with a quirky, decidedly feminine confidence -- but by and large, The Way It Really Is comes across as Loeb's attempt to convey exactly what the title promises. That's not always fun and games, but it makes for consistently provocative and meaningful listening.
All Music Guide - Stephen Thomas Erlewine
The fluke smash hit of Lisa Loeb's debut single, "Stay I Missed You," in 1994 was a blessing since it gave her a career, but a curse since it defined her career. For many, she was just a one-hit wonder, and it took her a long time to shake that stigma as she kept cutting records and cultivating a cult audience. She lost her major-label deal in the process, but majors weren't suited for her anyway since it forced her to work on a scale that was too large for the modest music she made. In 2004, a decade after "Stay," she had signed to Rounder's Zoe subsidiary, a better fit for her warm, low-key folk-pop and ballads, as The Way It Really Is, her first album for the label, proves. Quite simply, it's the best, most cohesive record she's made, a clean, crisp collection of well-crafted, gentle tunes that slowly, surely work into the subconscious. Loeb co-produced the album Dweezil Zappa, and they never overdress the songs, nor do they rely on Spartan, all-acoustic arrangements; they let the music breathe, sometimes adding layers of guitars and keyboards, sometimes keeping it to just her and another instrument or two. The Way It Really Is is still a quiet, modest album, but that's its appeal -- by being sounding so modest, Loeb's skills as a songwriter stand out, as do her charms as a singer. It's a sweet, ingratiating album, the first that she's made to truly deliver on the promise of "Stay," the one that offers definitive proof that Loeb is more than a one-hit wonder.
Entertainment Weekly - Marc Weingarten
Her writing is stronger than ever, and the material is curiously light on its feet. (B)

Her writing is stronger than ever, and the material is curiously light on its feet. (B)
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 8/10/2004
  • Label: Zoe Records
  • UPC: 601143107023
  • Catalog Number: 431070

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 Window Shopping (3:17)
  2. 2 I Control the Sun (3:01)
  3. 3 Hand-Me-Downs (3:42)
  4. 4 Fools Like Me (3:38)
  5. 5 Try (4:13)
  6. 6 Diamonds (3:04)
  7. 7 Would You Wander (3:33)
  8. 8 Probably (3:04)
  9. 9 Accident (4:04)
  10. 10 Lucky Me (2:29)
  11. 11 Now I Understand (3:07)
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
Lisa Loeb Primary Artist, Acoustic Guitar, Piano, Vocals, Vocal Harmony
Dweezil Zappa Electric Guitar, Soloist
Larry Goldings Piano
Ronny Crawford Percussion, Drums
Jason Falkner Electric Guitar, Background Vocals, Wurlitzer, Vocal Harmony
Jimmy Harry Guitar, Keyboards
Shelly Peiken Background Vocals, Vocal Harmony
Emily Saliers Background Vocals
Maia Sharp Acoustic Guitar, Background Vocals
Joe Travers Drums
Matt Laug Drums
Michael Sherwood Piano (Grand)
Chad Fischer Percussion, Piano, Cello, Drums, Keyboards, Foot Stomping
John Shanks Bass, Guitar, Bass Guitar, Keyboards, Background Vocals, Vocal Harmony
Dave Bassett Acoustic Guitar, Percussion, Electric Guitar, Keyboards, Background Vocals
Mark Meadows Bass Guitar
Technical Credits
Dweezil Zappa Composer, Audio Production
Lisa Loeb Composer, Producer, Audio Production
Stephanie Bentley Composer
Brant Biles Engineer
Jimmy Harry Composer, Programming, Producer, Audio Production
Bob Ludwig Mastering
Shelly Peiken Composer
Maia Sharp Composer, Engineer
Billy Steinberg Composer
Chad Fischer Producer, Audio Production
Bill Merryfield Art Direction
John Shanks Composer, Producer, Audio Production
Dave Bassett Composer, Producer, Engineer
Chris Fudurich Engineer
Lindy Robbins Vocal Arrangements, Vocal Producer
Mark Valentine Engineer
Jeff Rothschild Engineer
Jonathan Krop Web Design
James Murray Engineer
Stacey Lauers Stylistic Advisor
Philip Loeb Engineer
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 3 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(3)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

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1 Star

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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    lisa's best record

    this is lisa loeb at her song-writing peak. while these songs don't possess any hit-making quality that existed on songs like "stay" and "i do," this is really a song-writer's record, filled with impressive melodies, song-structures, and more earnest lyrics than she's ever made. on songs like "hand-me-downs," she paints a picture through her words about a love gone sour by lies, which may echo her break-up with long-time boyfriend Dweezil Zappa. perhaps that is why this record is so good, because it was inspired by something so real and heartbreaking. in any case, this is a must-have for lisa loeb fans, and for god's sake, release your next record, lisa!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    An old friend with some new licks.

    Lisa Loeb has always been a favorite artist of mine, and as a fan I've always felt she's been terribly underrated. However, I can understand how her music from her previous releases might not have caught on as much as I would have liked. That understanding goes out the window, however, with "The Way it Really Is." In her first release for Zoë/Rounder, Loeb has taken a much darker turn than on her previous efforts, but the results couldn't be more luminous. Her wordplay and skill with metaphors is taken to new levels with the quirky, interesting "Window Shopping" and the rockingly dismissive "Diamonds." "Fools Like Me" and "I Control the Sun" prove that she can still turn some contagious hooks, and "Probably" nicely summates both her craft as a musician and lyricist with its seamless marriage of hooky refrain and smart lyrics. The real revelations here, though, are her introspective and dynamic numbers scattered throughout. "Hand Me Downs" and "Lucky Me" are sensitive and gut-wrenching songs about cutting off relationships while "Try" and "Would You Wander" betray any cynicism with genuine hopefulness. Meanwhile, "Accident" is a heavy-handed social commentary that is so dead-on that it can be difficult to just listen to. All of these tracks are driven home by Loeb's expert delivery, which stirs an uncanny amount of pathos from the listener, and her understated guitar-playing. Anyone that has thought Lisa Loeb jejune - or even just a one-hit-wonder for her chart-topping "Stay" - needs only to listen to this new song cycle of coming to terms with who you are and what you have to see that she is a stimulating and clever troubadour that is a musical force of great importance and worth.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Lisa does it again

    Lisa Loeb shows she's still got it. She can still write great songs, like "Window Shopping" which compares a relationship to shopping ("Try me on, Take me Home, The tags are on, It's still a loan.). She also shows she can still write a catchy, but thoughtful pop song ("Fools Like Me" and "I control the Sun"). Some of the greatest songs on this record though are the intimate acoustic ones, like "Hand-Me-Downs" which is about leaving someone, and "Accident" that talks about how we all like to see the worst and crowd around accidents. With THE WAY IT REALLY IS, Lisa shows she's still got her great song craft that we first discovered with "Stay."

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