Eleanor Friedberger – Last Summer

...as usual with Friedberger’s other work - she always seems to provide an absolute gobful of words and phrases in each song:  everything is in the manner of a very frank, open and detailed confession, seriously explained over coffee in some small breakfast joint.



(Merge Records) http://www.konkurrent.nl


A lovely record, warmer in tone than her outings with the Fiery Furnaces, and possessing a number of very catchy tunes such as the simmering pop of I Won’t Fall Apart on You Tonight, the upbeat funk strut of Roosevelt Island or the soft and floaty Heaven.

But the suspicion remains that Eleanor Friedberger will never get as much plaudits as she deserves. Maybe it’s the feeling that she comes across as so involved in her art that she doesn’t really seem bothered in making music “acceptable” to the masses. Her songs are masterpieces of emotional detail, which can stick in a lot of people’s craws sadly…  On Last Summer - and as usual with Friedberger’s other work - she always seems to provide an absolute gobful of words and phrases in each song:  everything is in the manner of a very frank, open and detailed confession, seriously explained over coffee in some small breakfast joint. She has to impart everything to us; and as such even when the music as open and accessible as it is on this record, there’s always a feeling of listening to someone who doesn’t really fall into any accepted Rock canon. But I’m happy about that to be honest; she’s an interesting and unique artist.

You get the feeling that she’s on your shoulder with tracks like Inn of the Seventh Ray, Owl’s Head Park and Scenes From Bensonhurst: tracks that are in effect conversations set to music. That the music is marvellous (and by contrast simply presented and clear as a bell) is of course to be expected. Normally it’s a steady and simple urban plod or commuter groove that is laid down, but now and again there’s something even more stripped back such as the quiet strumming backdrop One Month Marathon.

Good record, of course.