Although it's been four years since we last heard from her, Lisa Loeb has hardly been idle. The singer/songwriter, who came to fame with her song "Stay (I Missed You)" in the film Reality Bites, has relocated from New York to Los Angeles, where she has found plenty of work doing animation and commercial voice-overs as well as making guest appearances on The Nanny and The Drew Carey Show and appearing in the 1999 horror film House on Haunted Hill.
But while her music career may have been on the back burner during that time, it has not gone stale: Loeb's third album, entitled Cake and Pie, comes out on February 26. And in keeping with the food theme, Loeb is considering baking a pie onstage during each tour stop.
"I've been talking to a friend who's a chef in Arizona with two restaurants," she told the Los Angeles Times. "We could make a video featuring the pie-oven roadie, get it on the [Food Network] - my favorite TV channel. "Maybe we could get it sponsored by [oven brand] Viking, get cake-mix boxes with my picture on them."
It's that kind of whimsy that Loeb's fans have grown to cherish, via her two albums on Geffen Records, Tails (1995) and Firecracker (1997). Ron Fair, the former RCA executive who was responsible for placing "Stay" in Reality Bites, was named president of Geffen's sister label A&M last year, and brought Loeb over to A&M for Cake and Pie. The result finds Loeb collaborating with a number of high-profile songwriters, including Glen Ballard, Randy Scruggs and current beau Dweezil Zappa.
The result should delight the legions who made "Stay" a number one hit and landed Firecracker's "I Do" in the Top 20. Led by the hauntingly plainspoken "The Way It Really Is," the bloodied-but-unbowed sentiments of "Underdog" and the gently empathetic "Kick Start," Cake and Pie reveals a songwriter and artist who has matured in impressive fashion.
"No one sounds like her," Fair told the Times. "Now she has a more introspective sensibility about what has happened in her life and at the same time has quirky charm."
"The songwriting's more combined with telling a story," Loeb added. "The rock is more intensely rock, the acoustic songs are more intensely acoustic, the orchestral songs more intensely orchestral. Ron's an actual producer and record person. He's very passionate about music."
With Cake and Pie, Loeb has unquestionably proven the same about herself.