Pasatiempo - - PASA TEMPOS - — Robert Ker

New View (Frenchkiss Records) Early in “He Didn’t Men­tion His Mother,” the first song on Eleanor Fried­berger’s lat­est record, she sings of a (likely) for­mer lover, “To­day I am frozen, but to­mor­row I will write about you.” That line sums up the ethos of Fried­berger’s writ­ing — she comes across as mud­dled and lost in the present, but sees the past with un­usual clar­ity. In­deed, she has a knack for writ­ing about per­sonal events with such de­tail and per­spec­tive that it in­vokes a sense of close­ness and shared nos­tal­gia in lis­ten­ers even of diver­gent back­grounds. New View, her third solo al­bum since shelv­ing the Fiery Fur­naces, the art-rock band she shared with her brother, is per­haps her most “rock” al­bum yet. The in­stru­ments burn brightly, drown­ing her voice on oc­ca­sion and giv­ing the ar­range­ments a ram­shackle feel. Even on pop songs such as the Paul McCart­neyesque “Sweet­est Girl” — built around the re­frain, “Sweet girl with the bro­ken heart/Stop cry­ing so I won’t start” — her vo­cals are slightly dis­torted and mar­ried to a fuzzy, bub­bling bassline. Flour­ishes such as that, the fin­ger­picked acous­tic gui­tar in “Never Is a Long Time,” and the glam-rock gui­tar in “Two Ver­sions of To­mor­row” keep things from get­ting too monochro­matic. Fried­berger is one of the finest writ­ers of her gen­er­a­tion of mu­si­cians, and New View finds her voice as sharp as ever.

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