Stranger Things

OK, a quick recap. While a sophomore in college, Edie Brickell began fronting the band known as New Bohemians in her native Dallas. The group released their smash debut album in 1989, effectively dooming themselves with their success right out of the starting gate. Their record company leaned in and started tinkering with the group's internal equation, forcing them to fire drummer Brandon Aly. The group disbanded after a second record, and Brickell herself retreated into quiet domesticity away from public view after one further solo album.

She re-emerged after a nine-year hiatus with her 2003 solo CD, Volcano, and now she's come full circle and reunited with her original band.

The new album essentially picks up where the 1990 second LP left off, with smart, slightly jammy, mellow rock centered on Brickell's ethereal voice.

The album kicks off with the title song, a lyric ostensibly about a relationship but equally apropos about the band itself and their 15-year breakup and make-up. "And the minute you get what you want, you don't know what you want anymore," Brickell sings. "And the minute you ought to hold on, you let go."

In fact many of the songs can be read as autobiographical about the band itself, like the opening line in "Spanish Style Guitar" which goes: "I went out for a while, when I came back everything had changed." But these songs are really witty observations on life's turning points, not the band's. The aforementioned "Spanish Style Guitar" is not about a break-up but rather a break-in, depicting a desperate musician after coming home and finding her place ransacked by a thief and lamenting "Oh, take the money, take the TV, take my phone/Please leave my guitar."

The band is as limber and loose as they were on their debut, running through the calypso-tinged "No Dinero," the jazz-rock on "Elephants & Ants," and the straight ahead guitar rock of the album's first single "One Last Time."

It's a welcome return to form by the long-sidelined group, and a terrific album even without the unlikely backstory.

Mike Sauter, WYEP Music Director