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Lisa Loeb / A Simple Trick To Happiness

Lisa Loeb

A Simple Trick To Happiness (Furious Rose)

http://www.lisaloeb.com

When I’m listening to a Lisa Loeb record, I’m always struck by how well-thought-out they sound. The arrangements are always tight, the vocal performances are smooth and warm, and the overall production technique is never heavy-handed or inappropriate. Every last detail is always just right.

He opens the door, he wants to know me. Shouldn’t I be happy?” asks Loeb in “Doesn’t It Feel Good.” In “Skeleton,” she ponders the impression she’s making on other people. Can Lisa Loeb really still be that self-conscious after all these years? Maybe?

Beautifully double-tracked in “Shine,” Loeb sweetly sings of personal contentment, which this critic hopes she’s found at this stage in her life, and “Sing Out” is a hopeful anthem for those in need of a little celebration in their lives. Whether as  suggestion or reminder, it’s a really nice thought, sung in earnest, as the whole affair is. Highly recommended.

D.P.

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Video of The Day

Lisa Loeb / I Do

With a review of Lisa’s new album coming tomorrow, we’re taking a look back to 1997 and “I Do.”

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Quick Spins

Renee & Friends/Kindred

Renee & Friends

Kindred (One Melody Records)

http://www.reneeandfriends.com

From the press kit, Renee Stahl enthuses, “I am thrilled that these wonderful artists, whom I so much admire, have given their time and talent to help make Kindred what Renee & Friends is all about: people helping each other, coming together and promoting kindness.” The friends she’s talking about just happen to be; Ziggy Marley, Lisa Loeb, Elizabeth Mitchell and others. They are the icing on an already-sweet cake.

Kindred plays in the same way that all of my favorite children’s music does, in that it aims high, disguising itself with great performances and really likable songs. The opener, “Kindness Is Cool,” will no doubt inspire spontaneous good deeds among listeners everywhere. “Where Do Children Play?” is a beautifully-sung duet with Ziggy Marley, about the need for clean, green space to grow up in.

“How Did You Get So?” A sing-song about appreciating our friends’ strengths, closes the disc with an important, optimistic thought. Being kind is easy, and it’s within everyone’s ability to really make someone’s day turn around, if it hasn’t been going so well. It’s a nice thought that we should all consider.

D.P.