A lot of artists like to talk up new records as reinventions, but few actually walk the walk.
That accusation can’t be levelled at Eleanor Friedberger this time out. Her last solo album, the sumptuous New View, continued in the same vein as the rest of her post-Fiery Furnaces output; tried-and-true indie rock, inflected with folk and infused with melancholy. Rebound is another prospect entirely - it’s a vibrant and varied exercise in electro-pop, in a varied manner that only occasionally comes across as scattershot. Thematically, it’s not a million miles away from New View; she wrote that album after moving from her longtime home of Brooklyn to upstate New York, and those feelings of isolation and alienation are carried over into Rebound, which was penned during a trip to Athens, where, as she notes at one point on the album, dogs don’t even bark in the right language.
Her vocals remain clear as a bell, with a rich tone to them that provides the throughline between this album and her previous work; that’s something that’s especially pronounced on the more minimal tracks, like "The Letter" (low-key synths, barely-there guitar) and the quietly funky "It’s Hard". Rebound doesn’t represent an entirely successful experiment - especially when, on ‘In Between Stars’, things begin to sound suspiciously like Texas - but when Friedberger gets it right, the record soars: the standout "Are We Good?" is a case in point. She’s been brave enough to open up a new road for herself; she’ll hopefully have the courage to continue on down it.