The Heavy Circles

Roughly two years after her comeback album with New Bohemians (2006's Stranger Things), Edie Brickell gets together with stepson Harper Simon for a collection of new songs that has a stronger musical connection to her solo material than to her old band. The disc has a laid-back feel, despite the seriousness that the duo put into the music. Guests Sean Lennon, Yuka Honda, and Martha Wainwright lent a hand during the sessions, and the relaxed attitude comes through in tunes like "Wait and Wait," which has a strong psychedelic influence, thanks to Simon's strumming and a Beatles-esque string arrangement. Brickell sounds great on "Need a Friend," a bona fide reggae track with rock-steady horns and guitar, while "Dynamite Child" is refreshingly punk rock. With Heavy Circles, Brickell and Simon seem to have found an ideal songwriting partnership in which their musical personalities don't clash

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