New Bohemians and Red Sox fans have a lot in common. Both keep hoping their team will finally go all the way, and when they don't, which is pretty much all the time, they get their hearts broken. So have Edie Brickell fans gotten their '04 World Series? A surprisingly strong release, Stranger Things certainly could have been the one to re-invigorate New Bohemians' lapsed career. Crafted with a humble lack of pretension, it's a well-produced documentation of the band's transition from quirky jam-pop to adult contemporary depth (a destination that Brickell's solo albums had already hinted at). The anthemic title track, which gives a fairly honest history of the band through good times and bad, is a catchy revelation showing for the first time in years that the band is finally comfortable with itself. Yet even after 20 or so years together, the members of the band can still have fun trying to figure each other out. One quick listen to Brickell as she playfully tries to jam more words than she should into "Long Lost Friend"--a rollicking tune that probably took all of 10 minutes to write--is enough to tell. Unfortunately, before it's even gotten to the All-Star break, this season is in danger of being written off. Plans are already under way for Brickell's next solo album, and in the rush to release Stranger Things the New Bohemians' long summer tour never really got a chance to materialize. Without even that most basic promotional effort, the best thing the fans can do now is to wait and hope for next season.
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