Are We There Yet?

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AllMusic Review by Alex Henderson

Some CDs can be described as "remote control CDs"; because they're uneven, inconsistent or erratic, the listener needs a remote control to skip over the weak, forgettable tracks and get to the stronger ones. But Are We There Yet?, like previous GrooveLily discs, is far from a "remote control CD"; the songwriting and lead vocals of Valerie Vigoda and Brendan Milburn are consistently strong, and there is no need to skip around with a remote control because all of the songs are memorable. The basic GrooveLily ingredients -- clever, smart, and thoughtful lyrics, highly listenable pop-rock melodies -- are very much in evidence on gems that range from "Open Letter to Madonna" (an ode to the Material Girl), to the humorous "Diva Girl," to the heartening "Live Through This (Are We There Yet?)." The latter has an infectiously sunny melody, but addresses some less-than-sunny subject matter; Vigoda, alluding to 9/11's impact on the United States, sings, "This used to be a party/This used to be like Sunday school/Those days are over, darling/They crashed the planes and changed the rules." But "Live Through This" isn't strictly about the events of September 11, 2001, and it isn't really a political statement; rather, the song is about coping with life's hardships and challenges and becoming stronger in the long run -- it's about maintaining your optimism in the face of uncertainty. Why GrooveLily was still without a label deal when they recorded this excellent album in 2003 is anyone's guess; their '90s and early 2000s releases are among the best in the adult alternative field. Nonetheless, the trio has enjoyed a small but enthusiastic following, and those who acquired Jungle & Sky and/or Little Light won't find Are We There Yet? to be the least bit disappointing.

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