The Very Best of Lisa Loeb
Lisa Loeb is the kind of woman that I think, deep down, all of us sorta want to be. Maybe not entirely (because how many people can really pull off those cat’s eye frame glasses? Not many, my friends!), but in some little way. She’s smart, she’s a great songwriter, she plays guitar, she’s graceful and amusingly self-effacing and almost effortlessly pretty. She’s like the quiet, thinking girl of feminist-minded pop. Her songs exude a sense, somewhat difficult to pin down, but there nonetheless, that, regardless of the heartache and trouble they endure, women are strong, worthwhile people. In this – and in those distinctive frames – she has been consistent.
Her new greatest hits compilation, The Very Best of Lisa Loeb, does a pretty good job of bottling what it is about Loeb, as a musician and songwriter, that listeners have found enduringly attractive. While her mainstream popularity has waned since the mid to late 90s, she has still been creating music and nurturing her loyal fanbase with new material and touring (and yes, that TV show on E!, but more on that in a minute). This album does a good job of balancing the two: gems like “Do You Sleep?” and “Stay (I Missed You)” from her debut album Tails are interspersed among newer songs like “What Am I Supposed to Say?” and “Fools Like Me” from more recent offerings. All have a common thread of Lisa-Loeb-ness about them though, which is at once the compilation’s strength and its weakness. If you’re in the mood for Loeb’s signature introspective, whimsical (oh, I hate that word, but it is too fitting not to use here!) singer-songwriter fare, you can find it all here. If you’re in the mood for some of her less typical sound, you’d be better off picking through the albums individually.
Finally, a note about the newest song on the CD: “Single Me Out,” the theme song from #1 Single, Loeb’s six-episode E! reality show. The song, it pains me to admit, is hideous. The show was an enjoyable little confection of Loeb navigating New York City in search of love (and a dose of sanity on the side), but the song is pure torture. Skip it.