I had never hear Eleanor Friedberger or her band Fiery Furnaces before getting this CD, but I was curious after reading the many glowing reviews and news that Wesley Stace (aka John Wesley Harding) was involved in this project. I love most of the JWH albums, so I HAD to get this one too. Oddly, except for a single sentence in the slim CD digipack that tells you "All Songs by Friedberger/Stace", you would never know that Wesley Stace appears at all.
Musically, I found this album to be a real treat. Plenty of catchy, sunshiney pop songs with hooks galore. I also like Friedberger's voice. She reminds me a lot of early 80s Carlene Carter, but without the country garnishes. To my ears, I don't hear any Carly Simon or Carole King influences, nor does it all sound like some sort of retro-1970s tribute. Perhaps those are all influences, but Friedberger has distilled them and put them through a contemporary musical prism. The result: a talented recording artist making honest, well-crafted pop songs. And that's something that is sorely needed in this sterile, digitized era.