CD Review – Marcy Playground “Leaving Wonderland… in a Fit of Rage”

This is the fourth major release from Marcy Playground, a group thus far considered a “one-hit wonder” of the late ‘90s (widely known for the smash hit single “Sex and Candy”). This is also a strong record from the alternative, pop-rock trio. Each track has a unique energy, with enough radio savvy to be approachable without pandering to the lowest common denominator of radio-readiness.

The album opens with a decent amount of potential singles, the lead-off track, “Blackbird,“ was the first U.S. single and possibly a better choice than “Good Times,“ which was the first single in Canada. The highlight of the album for me is the rhythmic “Gin and Money” (maybe Marcy Playground has it’s best luck when composing songs with “and” in the title?), which has a nifty combination of Radiohead and Wolfmother that I found to be immediately infectious. Not that every single track is a homerun, as some are rather easily forgotten after first listen. Even the album’s second single, “Star Baby,” is a bit on the cornier side, resembling the bouncy ‘90s sound of a Barenaked Ladies B-side .

Considering all of this, it is still a relief to hear something decent — a song for the sake of a song, nothing deeper. Some are fun, some are laid back and some are even a bit contemplative, but none are too out of place. Leaving Wonderland . . . in a fit of rage is a good effort worth a listen, even if it won’t spawn super-hit No. 2.

.5 out of **