Now Eliza is one of my favourite musicians - I love her voice, her songs, and her toy piano, so this review might be considered ever so slightly biased (to the tune of about three or four teravolts); I mean if I ever came into serious money I'd bring her and her band down to Oz to play a fee gig, purely so I could see her live. <grin>
With this disclaimer out the way, it is probably no surprise that I am ecstatic about the songs on this album. Whilst two of my favourite songs, Black Rose and Cinnamon Bone make their reappearance (they could also be found on her EP Gild The Lily), along with Over My Shoulder, the sound is much more refined and practised. The support of her quartet gives a deep resonance and body to her work that was missing as essentially a solo performer, especially to the new songs that have been written to draw on this resource. One of the reasons I like her work is the deep musical complexity that underlies her work - each time I listen to one of the songs I hear something a little different, something new, something interesting that catches my attention.
I believe Eliza travelled to Chicago to record and mix the album at a studio there (I believe one patronised by The Loneliest Monk), and it was a worthwhile journey - if the mix isn't perfect then it is right next to it. It was definitely well worth the wait to get it perfect.
I'm actually in the unique position (for me) of being unable to choose my favourite song from the album. Perhaps Pretty Little Head? And then the track changes to Start With Goodbye, Stop With Hello and that becomes my new favourite. And now White Words is my favourite. <sigh> I just suppose I'll have to keep listening to her album until I come to a decision. [Oh dear. The hardship. <grin>]
As a Kickstarter supporter this album also came with a copy of the excellent songs Foot Soldiers and Big Love. While I understand the entire structure of Kickstarters are biased towards exclusive rewards supporters it does sadden me that these will be unavailable to non-supporters, at least until the next Kickstarter. [Which regrettably won't be soon as Ms Rickman is doing a big tour of the US later this year. Go see her, if you can (details at her website; see link above). Meanwhile, I'm off to buy a few lottery tickets, so it might be possible for me to see her live... <grin>]
ETA: A winner has emerged from the battle of the earworms: Pretty Little Head is my favourite song from this album (or at least the song that is currently residing in my head after having beaten all the others into submission).
[* Yes, I am a Kickstarter addict - I can stop when I run out of money; did you know Rich's "Lets Reprint an Order of the Stick Book" Kickstarter is now at 3/4 of a million dollars (that's over 1700% funded); go see his actual Kickstarter and read the Updates - he can't draw the graphs fast enough to keep up. But then, the graphs themselves are rather amusing.]