When I made "From the Blue House", I was already disenchanted with my label (Virgin). Their corporate mentality, their lack of support of my first album, "Megiddo", and the high-personnel turnoever that left me without allies in their offices let me know that no matter what I did in the studio this time, they weren't going to do any better of a job than they had the first time around. But I found a kind of freedom in that, and I decided to make exactly the kind of record I felt like making.
After being very anti- anything folky or acoustic for many years, I had discovered the beautiful dark subtlety of Elliott Smith's albums, and had begun a deep romance with sparse organic sounds. To record "From the Blue House" I built an all-analog (no computers) studio in rural Virginia and had local musicians from Charlottesville and Richmond back me up. Instead of overdubbing, we would record as a band, capturing the vibe and feel of a room full of people playing together. Other songs are just me and a guitar, but I was still going for the same thing: one take that had soul and character.
I am proud of this record. The only thing I don't like about it now is the picture on the cover! : ) ... I mean, there are songs that I don't play anymore because I've changed a lot in the years since and they just don't seem appropriate to the person I am now, but they certainly captured the person I was then.
-- Lauren Hoffman
"If Lauren Hoffman's debut Megiddo was like exploring a dark old manor, From the Blue House is stepping outside onto the porch in the midst of a beautiful spring day. This collection (released after Hoffman parted ways with Virgin) swings, shuffles, and grooves without the heavy atmospherics that were so prevalent on her debut. Tracks like "Bring You Down," "Dust Off Your Dreams," and "Song for a Boy" manage to combine Hoffmann's penchant for melody and groove with her strange dark lyrical slant. It is unfortunate that Hoffman will not get the necessary marketing to make her a household name with this release, but it is obvious that the artistic freedom she now has paid off in spades. A great soundtrack for a big sky."
- Chris True, AllMusic.com