Though she turned up on some limited compilations, in music placements on television, and in rare print interviews in the meantime, Been Around represents the first album in 16 years from A Girl Called Eddy, the retro-pop project of Erin Moran. Following closely on the heels of a 2018 collaboration with the like-minded FUGU under the name the Last Detail, it's just her second solo album. Recorded in Nashville, New York, and her base of London with Daniel Tashian of the Silver Seas (he also co-produced Kacey Musgraves' Golden Hour), Been Around features guests such as Paul Williams and the Watson Twins, underscoring the Baroque pop devotee's popularity among a certain breed of songwriters. (Around the time of her 2004 debut, A Girl Called Eddy was invited to open shows for the likes of Rufus Wainwright, the Cure, and the Divine Comedy.) Together, they and other collaborators construct an affectionately nostalgic group of arrangements for her already '60s-styled song blueprints, with the orchestral title track setting the stage. Electric piano and crisp vocal harmonies open the song before Moran enters with a wistful, Carole King-evoking melody and lyrics that refer to fair-weather friends and dried tears. Bright brass, atmospheric strings, and a harmonica solo eventually embolden its key-shifting confessions. Later, the cinematic ballad "Finest Actor" namechecks some of Hollywood's biggest legends alongside instrumentation that includes harpsichord, or a good facsimile. Far from mere '60s pastiche, the album also offers entries like "Jody," which suggests the sophisti-pop of Prefab Sprout, and "Someone’s Gonna Break Your Heart" recalls '80s Pretenders, and not only due to Moran's oft-noted vocal resemblance to Chrissie Hynde. Full of well-crafted potential highlights, Been Around stops just short of sounding overly labored, instead striking a plush, melancholy chord that glides between sparer and more exuberant tracks, such as the stirring "Charity Shop Window." It's fair to say that Been Around out-performs her excellent debut, both in terms of composition and execution, making it a release well worth the wait.
AllMusic Review by Marcy Donelson