Album Review | Eleanor Friedberger: Personal Record

by BUST Magazine

On her quietly brilliant 2011 solo debut, Last Summer, the Fiery Furnaces singer/guitarist Eleanor Friedberger dialed back the art-pop zaniness of her day job several notches, which gave her verbose travelogues welcome breathing room. On Personal Record, Friedberger settles further into a vintage, Laurel Canyon-inspired sonic space, in which sparkling electric pianos and swirling organs commune with her sweetly brash vocals. Personal Record’s best moments are its most subdued. The delicate bossa nova ballad “Echo or Encore” and the hippy-ish idyll “I Am the Past” are particularly gorgeous. Elsewhere, “She’s a Mirror,” with its snappy Motown groove and Bolan-esque flight-of-fancy lyrics, is a blast. Though nothing here is quite as engaging as Last Summer’s riotous nostalgia bombs “My Mistakes” and “Roosevelt Island,” Personal Record is a lovingly crafted collection of sunny, retro-minded pop from one of indie rock’s most distinctive voices.

Eleanor Friedberger: Personal Record, $9.99,

By J. Sam Bakken

Courtney-Cover-SmallThis review appears in the June/July 2013 issue of BUST Magazine with Courtney LoveSubscribe now.


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Founded in 1993, BUST is the inclusive feminist lifestyle trailblazer offering a unique mix of humor, female-focused entertainment, uncensored personal stories, and candid reporting that tells the truth about women’s lives.

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