Her latest CD, Hello Lisa, features 11 original songs composed or co-written by Lisa and a variety of songwriters and producers, including Randy Scruggs, Dweezil Zappa, Glen Ballard and Peter Collins. "Though I wrote many of the songs myself, this record is ultimately a collaborative effort," Loeb says. "I wanted to write, produce and play with as many people as possible to bring a sense of diversity to the project. I co-produced the album, so there is a strong connection in all the songs." Composing and performing songs that combine effervescent pop with the lyricism of a skilled storyteller, Lisa Loeb is one of contemporary music's most sumptuous delights.
Essentially a repackaging of Lisa Loeb's criminally overlooked Cake and Pie
release, Hello Lisa
finds the decaf diva unleashing her cutesy impulses in the extreme, embracing the Hello Kitty
aesthetic wholesale while adding photos of (presumably) her own kitties to up the aw-shucks factor. Still, the girl can write a song and turn a phrase. Take "Underdog," where she deadpans, "I like things that are so good/ You are so, so good." Or this, from the set's most powerful track, "Everyday"--"Love turns its back just to stand in my way," delivered with Loeb's characteristically powerful understatement. Unlikely conspirators Dweezil Zappa
and Randy Scruggs
provide counterpoint to Loeb's fizzy folk-pop, but Hello Lisa
is her show, and it's all the better for it. --Kim Hughes