CD Review of Cake and Pie by Lisa Loeb
Label
A&M
Lisa Loeb: Cake and Pie

Reviewed by Mike Farley

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I
've always had a thing for Lisa. From the time she was a nerdy chick dancing clumsily in the "Stay" video, to a few albums later as it appeared she came into her own as a songwriter. This latest collection is very different from her previous release of almost five years ago, yet still sounds like trademark Lisa. The thing that stands out with this release is that each track is distinctive, making it interesting as a whole.

"The Way It Really Is" is a typical Lisa Loeb song, dark in the verses with conversational phrasing and a big hooky chorus. "Underdog" shows off Lisa's slick acoustic guitar playing and sweet, innocent voice. "Everyday" is an angry track with haunting chord changes ala Toad the Wet Sprocket. "Someone You Should Know" is the first single, and while it's catchy I don't think it's a good representation of the rest of the album -- it sounds a little too much like Josie and the Pussycats. "We Could Still Belong Together" has a Counting Crows feel to it and "Kick Start" is a pretty ballad that brings to mind Fleetwood Mac's "Landslide." "Payback" truly shows the influence of Loeb's boyfriend Dweezil Zappa, a bluesy rock track with 1970s-sounding guitars and keys but still you know it's a Lisa song.

It's hard for me to be overly critical of Lisa Loeb. I love her music and she always has slick production and arrangements to her songs. You can put her up against any of the popular singer/songwriters of today -- Jewel, Sheryl Crow, Sarah Maclachlan -- and she's just as good, if not better. All that aside, I just know that this is the kind of record I'll be listening to a lot in the next few months and not get tired of.

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