There are few Nineties-era music video moments more iconic than Lisa Loeb striding through an empty loft apartment, accompanied by no one other than her cat, wearing all black and her trademark cat eye frames, pleading with the camera to “Stay.” That song, which was prominently featured over the end credits of the Generation X touchstone Reality Bites, and that video (directed by Ethan Hawke!) “allowed me to go all over the world,” Loeb explained to a sold-out audience at Manhattan’s Highline Ballroom this past Wednesday, March 20. Though she’ll likely never have a song that eclipses the success of “Stay,” the fact that she can still sell out sizable concert venues nearly 20 years later means that she is most certainly not saddled with the stigma of being a one-hit wonder.
Loeb is currently on the road in support of her new album, No Fairy Tale, which sounds exactly like the kind of record you would’ve loved to have listen to in 1996 (in a good way!). The album was produced by (and partially co-written with) New Found Glory‘s Chad Gilbert, and features the kind of catchy, crunchy guitars and bouncy basslines that were all the rage during that era. “Sick Sick Sick” recalls Weezer‘s “Undone (The Sweater Song),” the title track (as featured above from a recent Big Morning Buzz Live show) is power pop personified, and there’s even a track on the album called “The 90’s” in which Loeb pokes a bit of good natured fun at both herself and the era.
Although it’s very difficult to ignore the way that the gauze of nostalgia affects our empirical judgement of her seminal Nineties work on Tails and Firecracker, we have no qualms whatsoever stating that No Fairy Tale stacks up (and possibly even surpasses) both of those albums in terms of its overall quality. It seems that her hardcore fanbase feels similarly, as songs from her new project got an equally warm reception from the room as her classic material like “Do You Sleep?” and “I Do” did. Loeb’s confessional songwriting style may have been born during the coffeehouse boom, but her pristine voice and innate ability to weave melody, bridges, choruses, and verses together remains just as fresh today as it did when she first started penning songs nearly twenty years ago.
For more updates on Lisa, including future tour dates and info on her new eyewear line, check out LisaLoeb.com.
[Photo Credit: Meredith McKeon’s Instagram]