Returning to the spotlight once again is Marcy Playground. Most famous for their self-titled release in 1997, featuring the hit singles “Sex and Candy” and “Sherry Fraser”, MP seemed to fade into deeper obscurity with each of their successive albums, Shapeshifter and MP3. While each of these were terrific efforts, they failed to garner the attention of their debut album. Marcy has returned on July 7 with Leaving Wonderland…In a Fit of Rage. I’ve kept up with Marcy over the past year and a half and I’ve waited enthusiastically for this album to find its release. Originally, this was to be a solo effort by frontman John Wozniak, featuring his songs with performers such as Daniel Powter (yes, the fellow behind “Bad Day”) in his backing band. John decided, though, that this may as well have been a MP release, and thus got the ol’ band back together for another go. I’m glad he did–if the previous albums are any indication, then good things are in store for the boys. I’ve heard many of these songs in various stages of completion through the band’s myspace and what I’ve heard that was catchy as heck. The songwriting and instrumentation were excellent. Aside from their brush with mainstream, MP is one of the best-kept secrets of the 90’s. The band are noted for their energetic performances and their polite and down-to-earth interactions with their fans. On this record, John has embraced more of an adult-alternative sort of sound, but it’s fitting given his age and life experiences since we’ve last heard him on a record. He doesn’t err, though, in saying that this is his most personal effort. It shows. What results is nothing short of terrific, a touch of personalization that’s near-impossible to find in the days of manufactured music. These are songs you’ll be hearing on the radio soon enough, especially “Good Times”. Please, do yourself a favor and pick up this record. You won’t regret it. By the time it comes on the radio, you’ll already know all the words.