Unbunny returned in 2002 with Black Strawberries on New Hampshire's Two-Ton Santa Records. The band's quirky musical strategy remained mostly the same, with singer/guitarist Jarid Del Deo serving as songwriter, and drummer James Ess and bassist Steve Haruch providing rhythm support. The disc begins with the upbeat and casual "In a Way," which is followed by the bare-bones instrumental "Blorn Blind." On "5th of July," the band sounds like a folk band more than ever, with a healthy dose of blues behind Del Deo's calculated and straightforward lyrics. The pace picks up on "Water and the Spanish Tongue," and the majestic instrumentation reaches a new level on "Glacier," with guest piano by Death Cab For Cutie's Chris Walla. The disc ends with "Northerns Pies," an orchestral and reflective mood piece. Black Strawberries marked the return of Unbunny, who remained at top form after recording at a frantic pace in the mid- to late '90s. Sidney Linder, Rob Downen, Julie Law, and Gregg Porter guest on guitar, trumpet, piano, and drums respectively on the 12-track disc, which was mostly recorded with Walla in early 2002.
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AllMusic Review by Stephen Cramer