Although Cindy Lee Berryhill's first two albums positioned her as a folky with some stray Patti Smith leanings, Cindy Lee Berryhill is, at heart, a closet Beach Boys fan. Her third album, Garage Orchestra, drops the folk-rock leanings of the first two records in favor of a singer/songwriter feel akin to early-'70s Beach Boys classics like Surf's Up and Holland, with Berryhill's guitar and piano ably supported by a much larger cast of musicians who color the tracks with vibes, strings, horns, and percussion. Berryhill's trilling voice and oddball lyrical preoccupations are the same, however; the quirky shaggy-dog story "Gary Handeman" and the incredibly odd "UFO Suite" are among Berryhill's funniest and strangest songs, while the Barenaked Ladies-like "I Want Stuff" and the gentle Brian Wilson homage "Song for Brian" cover the album's emotional poles. Much more solid than her first two records, both of which had some filler, Garage Orchestra is Berryhill's first completely solid and intriguing effort.
AllMusic Review by Stewart Mason