Retreat from the Sun began its life as Anna Waronker's first solo album, and if you listen intently, those origins are apparent, particularly in the tenor of the songs themselves. that dog. previously veered toward cute-pop, and while there are remnants of that throughout the album, Waronker's songs are considerably more personal than before, which adds emotional depth to the record. Just as important, her songs are tighter and more melodic, demonstrating considerable growth in songcraft. Producer Brad Wood helps form these songs into shiny alterna-pop nuggets, making Retreat from the Sun into the best album Liz Phair never made. It comes at the expense of the raw, ragged and surprisingly hooky post-punk of Totally Crushed Out, which was quite charming in its own right, but with maturity do come greater rewards, as Retreat from the Sun proves.
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AllMusic Review by Stephen Thomas Erlewine