Graham Reid | | 1 min read
Brickell's debut album with the New Bohemians -- the quietly delightful neo-folk Shooting Rubber Bands at the Stars – was over 20 years ago and it's fair to observe she hasn't had anything like the profile since as a solo artist, when the band reformed, or in the short-lived Heavy Circles with her stepson Harper Simon (yes, in the early 90s she married his dad Paul) and guests Sean Lennon, Martha Wainwright and others.
Not blessed with the most distinctive
of voices, Brickell has always been at her best when delivering
world-weary and/or slightly angry songs (Circle on Rubber
Bands with “that's it I quit, I give up, nothing's good enough
for anybody else”) and her she brings that to bear on the finely
honed, gentle jangle-pop and social comment of Pill (“you
can't pay attention/can't get it up . . . they got a pill for that”).
There's a slightly soulful tone on the
more punchy Been So Good, but Always is slight and
unworthy (redeemed only by Carter Albrecht's piano work). Waiting
for Me is one of those neo-boho songs which goes right back to
her origins, and It Takes Love is a simple string-coloured
ballad. Bad Way is an ambitious and dark narrative.
Tastefully produced by Charlie Sexton, this album shows Brickell hasn't lost her melodic touch but not enough here grips to make this anything more than a pleasant diversion.
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