Customer Reviews

20
4.5 out of 5 stars
The Way It Really Is
Format: Audio CDChange
Price:$11.33 + Free shipping with Amazon Prime
Your rating(Clear)Rate this item


There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.

29 of 29 people found the following review helpful
on August 10, 2004
Format: Audio CD
Lisa Loeb has always been a favorite artist of mine, and as a fan I've always felt she's been terribly underrated. However, I can understand how her music from her previous releases might not have caught on as much as I would have liked. That understanding goes out the window, however, with "The Way it Really Is."

In her first release for Zoë/Rounder, Loeb has taken a much darker turn than on her previous efforts, but the results couldn't be more luminous. Her wordplay and skill with metaphors is taken to new levels with the quirky, interesting "Window Shopping" and the rockingly dismissive "Diamonds." "Fools Like Me" and "I Control the Sun" prove that she can still turn some contagious hooks, and "Probably" nicely summates both her craft as a musician and lyricist with its seamless marriage of hooky refrain and smart lyrics.

The real revelations here, though, are her introspective and dynamic numbers scattered throughout. "Hand Me Downs" and "Lucky Me" are sensitive and gut-wrenching songs about cutting off relationships while "Try" and "Would You Wander" betray any cynicism with genuine hopefulness. Meanwhile, "Accident" is a heavy-handed social commentary that is so dead-on that it can be difficult to just listen to. All of these tracks are driven home by Loeb's expert delivery, which stirs an uncanny amount of pathos from the listener, and her understated guitar-playing.

Anyone that has thought Lisa Loeb jejune - or even just a one-hit-wonder for her chart-topping "Stay" - needs only to listen to this new song cycle of coming to terms with who you are and what you have to see that she is a stimulating and clever troubadour that is a musical force of great importance and worth.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
34 of 42 people found the following review helpful
on August 17, 2004
Format: Audio CD
Lisa Loeb's latest effort (which curiously borrows its name from a track that appeared on Loeb's previous releases "Cake & Pie" and "Hello Lisa") shows the marks of a stumbling artist torn between what she wants to do and what she, artistically, probably should be doing. Bottom line: Loeb is essentially a pop singer, not a deep folkie. Sure, she is the definitive coffeehouse cutie, and that's fine. But don't expect anything new (or especially "deep") from this new CD, despite the artist's most assured efforts. This CD shows evidence of a steep decline in the literacy and depth of emotion from Loeb's two most recent CDs.

After Loeb's luscious "Cake & Pie" CD, I was genuinely excited -both for Loeb as a successful person and as an intriguing, blossoming artist. There was an elevated sense of confidence and energy on that record that had not appeared on Loeb's first two CDs. "The Way it Really Is" is not devoid of confidence; in fact, the CD's three best tracks ("I Control The Sun," "Fools Like Me" and "Probably") bubble with excitement. Where Loeb stumbles is her approach to the slower material; rather than "slowing things down," the lower-key numbers bring the CD's flow to an embarrassing, screeching halt. The first offender is "Hand-Me-Downs," which is merely one of several songs that use metaphor with the subtlety of a baseball bat to the head. Another metaphor-heavy track, "Accident," is the least palatable track (read: barely tolerable) this collection has to offer.

Is this album terrible? No, it isn't. Lisa Loeb does not make "bad" records. But this is clearly not the best she can do -not by a long shot. Loeb set the standard for herself with "Cake & Pie," and she will hopefully make another album as brilliant as that one. However, I do hope this CD does well - Lisa Loeb hasn't had a hit since "I Do" in the mid-`90s-and she does deserve some recognition for the thoroughly talented, capable and underrated artist that she is. Unfortunately, this CD does not showcase this fine artist at her best.
11 commentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on September 3, 2004
Format: Audio CD
Lisa Loeb leaves behind her "Hello Kitty" phase to deliver some powerful pop and folk gems. This album has a lot of songs about breaking up (maybe she should've titled it "Goodbye Kitty") and includes some of her best work yet. Those who only know her from her hit "Stay" are missing a terrific body of work. "The Way It Really Is" needs a few repeated listens to fully sink in, but it has some immediate stand-outs that grab you and stick in your brain.

"I Control the Sun" will have you humming all day long as soon as you hear it. It is the kind of hooky power pop Lisa excels at creating. "Fools Like Me" has a mellow, relaxed groove that belies some darker lyrics ("You must really love her. You think I don't know but I do...").

But is the slow songs where Lisa's talent truly shines. "Try" is a piano-driven hopeful plea to a pessimistic love ("To me it's kind of small, to you it's like prison") that may surprise you at just how well Lisa can sing. "Hand Me Downs" is a ballad tinged with determined anger ("You always lie. And it's a decision. I am leaving") that would not sound out of place on her debut album "Tails". "Accident" is the most experimental of the bunch, a vivid comment on our fascination with the misfortunes of others ("we squeeze our eyes shut but leave a space to see").

Musically, the album does jump around a bit in styles and tempo that sometimes don't seem to flow. But lyrically, Loeb takes you on an always insightful, linear journey from the first doubts about the future of a relationship ("Window Shopping", "I Control the Sun"), to attempts to make it work ("Try", "Would You Wander") and finally to the breakup ("Accident", "Lucky Me") and eventual hope for recovery ("Now I Understand").

Anyone who hasn't been excited about anything on the radio in years, or just appreciates good songwriting should give Loeb a try.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on September 18, 2004
Format: Audio CD
Let me start by saying that this is a very good record, and by most standards exceptional. Once again, Lisa entertains, and sometimes puzzles, us with her clever lyrics.

The record consists of a short 11 songs, 6 of which are significantly more produced than the others. The standout tracks for me, however, are the low-key acoustic songs. My reasoning behind this is that I don't find any of the up-tempo songs(with the exception of perhaps "I Control the Sun") to have the charming catchiness of, say, "We Could Still Belong Together". I know that it is probably unfair to compare old songs to new, but many of these newcomers pale in comparison to what I know Lisa is capable of creating.

Not to sound harsh, but the leadoff single "Fools Like Me", produced by the all-encompassing John Shanks, very well could be passed around between Ashlee Simpson, Michelle Branch, and Sheryl Crow.

Okay, with that said, this record does include some very intimate songs, and these are the ones I put on repeat.

The leadoff track, "Window Shopping", is an articulate and intelligent metaphor-song that may force you to bob your head along. The lyrics to the third track, "Hand-Me-Downs" are some of my favorite on the record. Track 5, "Try", is a lovely little piano ballad where we hear Lisa use her soothing voice at its best. The next song, "Diamonds" stood out to me from day one. A little edgier, and straight to the point. Next comes "Would You Wander", which is folksy and gorgeous, and also my personal favorite. "Accident" is a tricky song that I enjoy quite a bit. Tied for the top spot is track 10, "Lucky Me". In this song we hear only an acoustic guitar and Lisa almost whispering the chorus. Subtle and wonderful.

This is an excellent record, but if you are a new Lisa fan, I would suggest buying Tails and working your way up.

I am not sure if it is a coincidence that my favorite songs on The Way it Really Is were written only by Lisa, but it seems to not be.

Although this may be Lisa's most personal and dark album, I do not find it to be her most instantly likeable one. Perhaps it just needs a little more time to grow on me to attain that obsession-status that Lisa's previous works have.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on September 17, 2004
Format: Audio CD
Lisa Loeb's latest release, "The Way It Really Is," although not a bestseller, proves that the singer/songwriter has what it takes to remain a strong, relevant musical force. The fast-moving album is a collection of glossy power-pop confections a great deal of lyrical introspection mixed in that keeps a delicious balance of seriousness and levity.

Her Zoe records debut opens with the addictive, extremely clever "Window Shopping," a tongue-in-cheek observation about the modern day dating game and how it fits in with American pop culture's fickle mentality that perfectly sets the tone for the album.

(Try me on/Take me home/The tags are on/It's still a loan/Warranty is in the sack/You can always take me back/Go window shopping again.)

Letting the disc flow through you provides the realization that every song on it is catchy, substantial and downright brilliant. From listening to the rough-edged, in-your-face "Diamonds" to the irresistibly retro "I Control the Sun," it is a sad realization that what gets played on pop radio these days will be what our generation mutually looks back on thirty years from now, whereas songs as excellent as these never had a chance of getting played airplay.

Surely, the chance of turning on the radio and hearing the set's lead single "Fools Like Me" is about as likely as getting struck by lightening, even though the song is as addictive as it is bittersweet, finding her facing the fact that love is for fools like her while still keeping her chin up.

Loeb also proves herself a true poet with "Accident" and "Probably". The former illustrates how we cannot keep our eyes from scenes of mayhem despite ourselves, while in the former her voice crackles with realism as she begins her descent into a new relationship, with the line "I probably love you" on constant repeat, effectively echoing hesitation in addition to romanticism.

The overall tone for the album upbeat and hip yet melancholic all the same, by the disc's end it is easy to tell that Loeb had a clear vision of the direction she wanted to take the album in and that she accomplished it precisely. "The Way It Really Is" is one of those albums that gets better with every listen and where each succeeding song bristles with as much perfection as the one it follows. No skip button is needed here.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on August 13, 2004
Format: Audio CD
Lisa wants us to see things the way they really are. And she surely does. I must say this is the best album, I've heard in a long time. We never had a "real" artist like Lisa in awhile and it's about time "real" musicians get noticed.
From her piano ballad titled "try", which you get to hear Lisa's beautiful voice like never before, to the powerful head bopping song " Window Shopping"--Lisa makes the best blends of acoustic and pop/rock sounds. My favorite: "Hand-Me-Downs" makes you get goose bumps all over and the powerful story line song "Accident." Track Number Ten: "lucky me", is a monotone of acoustic guitar and the sound of Lisa and acoustic guitar is the most beautiful sound ever heard as well as relaxing.
"Diamonds" is this powerful rock song about the abuse of marriages.
You can feel the hurt and the lessons learned from her long term breakup with Dweezil. This record is `Amazing' , simply put.

Thank You Lisa for another great topping on the cake of your collections.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on August 20, 2004
Format: Audio CD
Lisa Loeb burst onto the music scene with the hit from 1994's "Reality Bites"---"Stay(I Missed You)". The song shot straight to number one, and I;ve been a fan since. This is a solid album for sure, although I dont think it tops "Cake & Pie". It starts out with "Window Shopping", a brilliant play on words about starting a relationship. The first single, "Fools Like Me" is definately the stand out track, but "Hand Me Downs", "I control the Sun", "Diamonds"' and "accident" all deserve a listen. I would like to thank Lisa for making an album for adults. Its a refreshing change from the current state of radio.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on August 13, 2004
Format: Audio CD
Music at its best. Each lyric is a small masterpiece. Partly arranged with a band, partly just her voice and her acoustic guitar. It always creates an atmosphere that will catch you. Don't get addicted ! By the way, all you guitar freaks, she really, really can play the guitar. "Hand-me-downs", "Accident", "Lucky me" or "Now i understand" will get you. "Diamonds" will knock you out, so intense. Listen for yourself, you won't regret.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Format: Audio CD
Lisa's back, and her music has taken a different approach this time. This album includes both her usual catchy, up-beat pop-rock tunes, as well as songs with a more mature, melancholy tone. It's a great mix of music, and the songs are perfectly crafted and show off her talents as a singer, a songwriter and a musician. It's been almost two years since her last album, but the wait was definitley worth it!
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Format: Audio CD
Lisa Loeb appears unscathed after her breakup with Mr. Zappa (maybe she realized she didn't want to be related to people named Dweezil and Moon Unit?). Accompanying her trademark look is her trademark sound, which makes much of her latest offering, The Way It Really Is, stand out.

Things start off pretty okay, however, with "Window Shopping" and "I Control the Sun"; actually, I really think those two songs are skippable, despite everyone else seeming to like them. But there ARE some good songs to find, like "Lucky Me", "Diamonds" and the smooth "Try".

There are also two songs in the middle I can do without. I'm not sure what the point of "Accident" was, and "Probably" needs a much better chorus ("I probably love you"???). Oh, well; even though Lisa's capable of making better albums, the music on here is good enough to keep you interested. But improved lyrics would have made this a better album, and that's the way it really is.

Anthony Rupert
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
     
 
Customers who viewed this also viewed
No Fairy Tale
No Fairy Tale by Lisa Loeb (Audio CD - 2013)

The Very Best of
The Very Best of by Lisa Loeb (Audio CD - 2006)

Cake & Pie
Cake & Pie by Lisa Loeb (Audio CD - 2002)
 
     

Send us feedback

How can we make Amazon Customer Reviews better for you?
Let us know here.

Your Recently Viewed Items and Featured Recommendations 
 

After viewing product detail pages, look here to find an easy way to navigate back to pages you are interested in.