Eleanor Friedberger - Rebound

by Jim Cunnar Rating:6 Release Date:2018-05-04
Eleanor Friedberger - Rebound
Eleanor Friedberger - Rebound

Rebound, the latest release by Eleanor Friedberger, is yet another 80s throwback concept which seems to be the norm for every indie rocker nowadays. Recorded mostly by herself, with an assist from producer Clemens Knieper, Rebound can’t escape the gravity of its influences, making for a nice but fairly forgettable listen. 

Rebound is a classic two-sided long-player, the first five songs having a different feel than the final five.  Opener “My Jesus Phase” has Friedberger lamenting (somewhat ironically considering the new wave vibe of the album) “Let me forget the words, let me forget the time”, utilizing drony synths which transitions nicely to The Letter”, a song which is chock full of inspirations with the likes of Cyndi Lauper, Roxy Music, and Alison Moyet standing out.  Distorted guitar peppers the back half of the song, providing a rawness that should have been utilized more throughout the album. 

There is a fantastic dissonant chord progression midway through “Everything”, an offset to the pop sensibility of the rest of the song. Despite the self-described Greek inspiration of the album, this peppy ditty takes more from Scandinavia pop and the likes of Sambassadeur than it does from Greek goth.

The first single, “In Between Stars”, is one of the songs which Friedbergers ultra-smooth voice works well with the music, a soulful synth gem full of hand claps. “Make Me A Song” wraps the first five with twangy strums and finger snaps, another really nice pop number.  

The second half of the album is, unfortunately, a bit too slow to fit with the first half.  “Nice To Be Nowhere” and “It’s Hard” slow the album down way too much to the point where it makes you feel numb.  Hoping for some type of acceleration to pull the listener out of the flat spin, none of the second half offerings come close to exciting.  

Moody and melodic, Friedberger's smooth alto compliments the music on Rebound but gets lost at times because it is a bit too perfect. The songs could of used some edge, which may have been possible with some writing input of her full band. With the influence she received at the 80s goth disco from which she drew the album’s title nowhere to be found, Rebound doesn't stand out against the other retro-influenced music put out by her peers, but if you are into this phase of new-wave laced pop, it’s worth a listen. 

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