I can’t believe I once haggled with Eleanor over the price of a Fiery Furnaces t‑shirt in the front of the Khyber…and that she accepted $10 instead of $15. Even harder to believe it was that long ago that the Fiery Furnaces were critical darlings, playing packed rooms and mesmerizing fans with Matt’s musicianship and Eleanor’s swagger.
It’s great to see Eleanor break out and make really lovely pop records that should appeal to a broader audience than probably hears them. There’s no standout track to these ears after a few listens, but I’m o.k. with that. I still enjoy putting a record on on Sunday morning, sipping coffee, flipping through the Home section on my Flipboard. Personal Record is perfect for that.
I know Matt Friedberger would hate to have his music described as something that doesn’t demand more from the listener, but there’s something to be said for music that doesn’t bounce around like a child throwing a tantrum. His solo stuff was never that challenging in the way he believed it to be. And the manner in which he drove fans away from the Fiery Furnaces tarnished the band’s legacy irrevocably.
Personal Record finds Eleanor Friedberger coming into her own after her equally lush and lovely Last Summer.