Folk-rockers Edie Brickell & New Bohemians returned in 1990 with Ghost of a Dog, the follow-up to their extremely successful debut, Shooting Rubberbands at the Stars. Once again, the musicianship and instrumentation are supremely appropriate, right down to the guest accordion licks that set the playful mood for "Carmelito." Top that with thoughtful, thought-provoking lyrics and memorable melodies and you have a great second record on the New Bos resume. Brickell has a way with phrases unlike most other songwriters. She finds the similarity in differences and uses it to her advantage, spinning webs with words entangled in unique rhymes and patterns. The opening lines are a perfect example: "If a child lives with money, he learns to spend his time/If a child lives with crazy, he goes out of his mind." This record is full of such cleverness. And as bouncy and whimsical as some of the songs are, such as "Woyaho," "Oak Cliff Bra," and "Carmelito," things get downright poignant, if not serious, on "He Said," "10,000 Angels," and "This Eye." However exquisite Brickell is as a songwriter and vocalist, enough can't be said of the guys who support her musically. Kenny Withrow, Wes Burt-Martin, Brad Houser, John Bush, and Matt Chamberlain are wonderfully creative musicians, and the cohesiveness of their sound is exciting to hear. These guys know what it means to play together, each giving his all without stepping on anyone's toes. Ghost of a Dog is definitely a record to own if you love the music that came out of the early '90s folk-rock scene. Along with the efforts of bands like 10,000 Maniacs, it stands the test of time and can be enjoyed over the years. But, sadly, it marks the second and last release from this band.
Share this page
AllMusic Review by Kelly McCartney