The Goldberg Sisters

Stranger's Morning

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Stranger's Morning Review

by James Christopher Monger

Stranger's Morning, the second studio outing for actor/producer/writer/director Adam Goldberg (Saving Private Ryan, Entourage, Dazed and Confused) under the Goldberg Sisters moniker, continues to mine early-'90s neo-psychedelic pop and classic rock for inspiration, an amalgamation that's readily apparent on the album's kaleidoscopic opener, "Would You Know" ("Would you know a good thing if it crawled up your ass?"), which, like much of the album, sounds a little like John Lennon's "Mind Games" filtered through All Is Dream-era Mercury Rev without the benefit of knob twiddling from Dave Fridmann. It's Goldberg's very own "Do You Realize?," which makes sense as the Flaming Lips' Steven Drozd is a friend and occasional collaborator, but his pitch-be-damned, nasally delivery and bluesy inflections suggest a diet heavier on early David Bowie and post-Maharishi Beatles. At its best ("Would You Know," "York," "It Can't Get You Down," and the eerie, waltzing title track), Stranger's Morning evokes blissed-out, pre-dawn Pacific highway road trips filled with nervous laughter and mystic ambiguity, but there's ultimately not much here that hasn't already been done better by more refined students of vapor trail-chasing, West Coast-imbued cosmic weirdness, and while it's certainly preferable to other Hollywood-fueled rock & roll offerings, it still feels a little like a lark, albeit a brightly colored one.

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