It’s refreshing how some things never change. Lisa Loeb, the folk-pop songstress best known for her pre-record deal hit “Stay (I Missed You)” from Ben Stiller’s Reality Bites, returns with Cake and Pie, the follow-up to her gold-selling Firecracker. She’s still got her trademark eyeglasses and she’s still got a knack for super-catchy acoustic-driven pop songs. Opening track “The Way It Really Is” features the kind of chit-chatty narrative that made “Stay” and “Do You Sleep?” so charming while the sinuous “Everyday” renders fading love simple and heartbreaking: “Once I went out just to look at the stars/I asked you to join me but you were too tired.” With tracks like “Bring Me Up,” Loeb makes seemingly trivial and obviously personal anecdotes sound familiar and inviting (“We shared humidity and orange roses,” she laments). The song’s short and sweet counterpart, “Drops Me Down,” displays the singer’s delicate vocal range and new penchant for electric guitar solos (courtesy of boyfriend/producer Dweezil Zappa). Cake and Pie wears a bit thin though; the album’s first single, the self-helping “Someone You Should Know,” is a bit flavorless and the simplistic “Kick Start” is a bit too paint-by-numbers. Luckily for Loeb, some things do change.
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