Smart Brown Handbag lived up to the promise of its 1993 debut on its sophomore effort, Silverlake, which takes its name from an area of Los Angeles that grew increasingly trendy in the 1990s and attracted a lot of musicians. Quite similar to its predecessor, Silverlake offers alternative pop-rock/guitar pop that thrives on melody and is characterized by restraint and understatement--this is a CD that tells its stories without beating listeners over the head. Handbag still had a maudlin side, but that's not to say that every word coming out of singer/guitarist David Steinhart's mouth is maudlin. If you're going to note that Handbag can be maudlin and melancholy, it's important to point out that the lyrics of songs like "Sleepless, Four Days," "Marry You" and "Short Road to Goodbye" can also be humorous and moving. Silverlake should have made Handbag well known, but regrettably, the band continued to be obscure.
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AllMusic Review by Alex Henderson