Personnel: Edie Brickell (vocals, guitar); Charlie Sexton (vocals, acoustic guitar, acoustic 12-string guitar, electric guitar, Clavinet); Carter Albrecht (vocals, piano, organ, Wurlitzer organ); Dave Monsey (bass guitar); Jim Oblon (drums, dumbek).
Recording information: Avatar Studios, NYC; Chateau Crush Mockingbird; Irony Recording; Public Hi-Fi, Austin, TX; Royale Tone Studios.
Editors: Kyle Crusham; Jared Tuten.
Things are going pretty well in the life of 44-year-old singer/songwriter Edie Brickell, by the evidence of her self-titled third solo album, her first such release since 2003's Volcano (which was, in turn, her first in nine years), though in the interim she reunited with New Bohemians in 2006 and teamed up with her stepson Harper Simon in the Heavy Circles in 2008, both associations resulting in CDs. Brickell has written and arranged a set of ten peppy songs with catchy melodies and choruses, played in a sunshine pop/classic rock style that suggests the music of her childhood; lead-off track "Give It Another Day" sounds like it could have scaled the hit parade of 1967 with ease. In her lyrics, Brickell reflects on friendship and contentment, with only minor difficulties. Would it be a problem if the platonic friend she finds so amenable in "2 O'Clock in the Morning" turned amorous? Will her friends who want her to go out on the town in "Waiting for Me" be disturbed that she'd rather say at home on the sofa with the one she loves? These don't seem like big problems in an otherwise happy life, and even if other troubles rear their heads, "they got a pill for that," she notes in "Pills." She may wake up to both a bedbug and a disturbing phone call in the closing song "Bad Way," but she is determined to persevere. That she will never seems in doubt, especially because of her spirited vocals, which retain a bit of a Texas twang even after years in New York, as well as the charming, slightly goofy phrasing that has always made her such an engaging vocalist. The album, its tracks recorded over a period of years when inspiration hit, has both spontaneity and a slick feel, since it is the work of pop professionals, none so assured as the title artist herself. ~ William Ruhlmann
Entertainment Weekly (p.79) - "[The] CD brims with jaunty tempos and lots of smiles." -- Grade: B
Billboard (p.36) - "[S]mart, catchy folk-rock tunes....'Pill' examines America's growing pharmaceutical dependence with the same wry skepticism Brickell worked in the New Bohemians' 1988 hit 'What I Am.'"
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