Lisa Loeb is an artist who gave me an amazing song of my youth: Stay (I Missed You) was a huge song in Germany when it was released in 1994. Today, 26 years later, I have to admit that I had completely lost her out of the scope of my musical interest – if there had not been a Grammy party picture on which she was performing with Weird Al Yankovic, who is one of my most admired musical artists. From that point on, Stay has been played countless times in my life. On 28th February, Loeb released A Simple Trick of Happiness. I was really looking forward to that album.
Lisa Loeb – About The Artist
Lisa Anne Loeb was born on 11th March 1968 in Bethesda, Maryland. She grew up in Dallas, though. In her youth years, she went to an all-girls private school and already had her own radio show on a local station. She took her first steps in the late 1980s, when she released two independent albums with a project called Liz and Lisa, which she drove with Elizabeth Mitchell, who became quite successful in music as well. The band broke up after college.
She formed a new band called Nine Stories during her Boston college days. During that time around 1992, she already recorded Stay (I Missed You). Due to the contact between Loeb and actor Ethan Hawke, the song finally made it to the movie soundtrack of Reality Bites, which made it become a huge success in 1994. The song topped the US and Canadian charts and had very good chart placements in other markets. In the mid-to-late 1990s she had some more successful songs like I do,which topped the Canadian charts in 1997. After that, Loeb did not produce any song which had a top chart position. After a duet with Craig Robinson, she had some popularity in Ireland in the last years.
Apart from that pop music line of her career, she also started releasing children’s albums. Her first one, which she recorded with Mitchell, was the 2003 Catch the Moon. Her 2018 Feel What U Feel won the Grammy Award as Best Children’s Album. A Simple Trick To Happiness will be Loeb’s eighth solo studio album.
Lisa Loeb – A Simple Trick To Happiness – Track by Track
Lisa Loeb’s album has 11 tracks. The playtime is 34 minutes
1. Doesn’t It Feel Good feat. Michelle Branch
The first song of the album is already showing a certain direction for A Simple Trick to Happiness: Lisa Loeb’s lovely and gentle voice, not taking a too large range of notes in the verses, arranged as a very nice and radio-like catchy production. I love to listen to her kinds of song, if they are like that.
Skeleton was the only track I had listened to before the album already. It is very similarly arranged like Doesn’t it feel good, but feels a bit deeper, more intense to me. Definitely a nice track.
3. Another Day
Some of the days are not enough
Some of the days can take awhile
Some of the days you lose, you fall, you slip, you take a hit, but
Some of the days can make you smile
But everybody knows that life can change like the weather
And everybody wants the things they know to stay the same
But we’re not gonna last forever
And nothing’s ever meant to stay
But while we’re on this ride together, let’s do it for another day
Another Day is very much in line with the first two songs. I definitely like the storytelling of Lisa Loeb.
4. This Is My Life
This Is My Life is a much more rhythmic track than the first songs – and to me, this is one of the core songs of the album. Definitely love it!
5. For The Birch
They bought it for the birch
Then the birch was gone
She planted daffodils
Life goes on
They almost lost it all
When the winter came
She started over
With For The Birch, the album stays a bit more on the snappy and quicker side. It is a matter of taste, of course, but I just love to listen to Lisa Loeb’s voice telling me stories.
6. Most of All
A slow track with rhythm and piano. The song is likely my favorite on the whole album, just because I love how she describes how I miss you most of all (which is in the spring, summer, winter and fall, according to the first chorus…).
Go be a star
Love who you are
Once you know
You have everything then
You’ll have everything
That you need inside
You have to quote a lot of Lisa Loeb’s lyrics when you review A Simple Trick To Happiness. Isn’t that a song which perfectly corresponds on the title of the album? Even though the whole album is about happy and unhappy moments, Shine is the “hidden title track” to me.
8. Sing Out
Sing Out is one of the most playfully tracks of the album. With its more prominent rhythm and the easy chorus, which is a lot of La La La, it fees so easy, that it just catches and makes you want to sing and dance. Thank you for these 3:24 minutes, Lisa – I highly enjoyed them!
9. I Wanna Go First
I wanna go first
Maybe burst into flames
The chute doesn’t open
Or just die on the plane
The way’s not important
I just want to explain
I wanna go first
And that’s all that I’m saying
Eaten by zombies or swallowed by sharks
If there’s anything left
They can use my good parts
I know it sounds grim, but it’s really the truth
Cause nothing is worse than a life without you
I just have to smile when I listen to this song. Ain’t this beautiful storytelling – and an amazing love letter in chords? Happy guy, who is the recipient of this song.
10. The Upside
A simple trick to happiness
Is having more and wanting less
Sometimes it’s hard just trying to do my best
Today’s the day that I can turn it around
Cause nothing’s keeping me down
I’ll see you on the upside
Cause don’t you know it’s high time
To see the world as ours
To go and smell the flowers
And open up our eyes
I’ll see you on the upside
Not just due to the lyric reference, this is the second candidate for the “hidden title track”. A beautiful song, again!
The album concludes with Wonder, which is just a 1:48 minute track. It feels a bit like a children motivation song to explore the world. I just enjoy again to listen to the way Lisa Loeb is interpreting the topic – this time with an accordion in the background… Some final reference to Weird Al 😉
Lisa Loeb – A Simple Trick To Happiness – Spotify
Here is the Spotify link to the new Lisa Loeb album:
Lisa Loeb – A Simple Trick To Happiness – My View
No, there is not another Stay in this album. You likely could not expect that. Even though the tunes still feel so present today, they are almost thirty years old. It would be strange if Loeb would still produce songs with that teenage spirit. Unsurprisingly, A Simple Trick to Happiness is more mature – and you feel the musical talent of a Grammy Award winner in all its 34 minutes. Very straight songwriting, especially the very good lyrics are very impressive. I love to listen to her album and absolutely recommend to give Lisa Loeb a chance on your record desk – or in your playlist.
US-American Media Reviews
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