One way to avoid a sophomore slump is to take sixteen years in between your debut record and its follow-up. Erin Moran, aka A Girl Called Eddy did just that, and to say I have been wanting this new record for some time is an understatement. I loved that 2004 self-titled debut but the just released "Been Around" is even better.
From the title track which opens Side One, a Bacharach-David meets "Eddy In Memphis" beauty, to the more than just a nod to Chrissie Hynde & James Honeyman-Scott on "Someone's Gonna Break Your Heart," to what is now and could end up being my favorite song of the year, "Charity Shop Window," a stunningly gorgeous heartbreaker evoking Rickie Lee Jones, Brian Wilson and Van Dyke Parks, "Been Around" is everything I could have hoped for and more.
"She saw his coat in the charity shop window/where the past lives on at a bargain price/long ago dreams find another chance to live again/memories are cheap in the charity shop window/She can almost hear if she really tries/their first hello, their last goodbyes."
The melodies throughout this record are to die for, each song strong enough to grab hold and never let go. Listen to "Two Hearts" below, my second favorite track, and count the hooks.
Sixteen years is a long time, with the only bit of relief coming from Moran's 2018 collaboration with Mehdi Zannad on the pleasant enough "The Last Detail." People have waited less time for a kidney. But, I am happy to say, "Been Around" was worth waiting the 5,800 days. Richard Hawley's production on Eddy's debut was lush and fit Moran's voice perfectly. But Daniel Tashian's work on "Been Around" gives Moran more room to breathe, and that is why I think this collection sounds so vibrant and fresh.
"Been Around" is a big time winner.