In the nearly nine years between Lisa Loeb's last two full-length albums of what she calls "grown-up music," she released a children's album, wrote a children's book, starred in a reality show, married, gave birth to two children and started her own eye wear collection.

So yeah, she's been a little busy.

"It probably stressed me out," Loeb said of getting out of her natural rhythm of writing, recording and releasing albums. "I'm glad to be back on track."

Loeb performs a sold-out show Tuesday at Jammin' Java.

Lisa Loeb and Nine Stories
» Where: Jammin' Java, 227 Maple Ave. E, Vienna
» When: 8 p.m. Tuesday
» Info: Sold out at press time, but tickets may be available through resellers; 703-255-1566;

In January, the singer-songwriter released "No Fairy Tale," her first such effort since 2004's "The Way It Really Is."

Loeb said she simply had so much going on and was sidetracked, particularly by "Number 1 Single," the E! reality show that ran in 2006 documenting her search for love. She eventually did find love -- outside of the show -- and focused on that relationship and starting a family.

"To actually meet somebody and focus on your personal life, you have to actually focus on your personal life, not necessarily make a TV about it or talk about, but actually say yes to your personal life but say no a little bit more to your work," said Loeb, who turned 44 last week.

With a long career dating back two decades, it's safe to say that Loeb's most well-known work is the 1994 hit "Stay (I Missed You)." Pop-punk act New Found Glory covered the song in 2007, inviting Loeb to sing on its recording. That started a friendship with guitarist Chad Gilbert, who approached Loeb about producing her next album, which became "No Fairy Tale."

Gilbert set out to make a quick, energetic, poppy, punky, rock effort.

"I think it was because of his enthusiasm I really wanted to work with him," Loeb said. "He's such a great producer. He sort of had it all figured out in his head."

Not that Loeb hasn't been recording in recent years. She's found great satisfaction in writing records for children. Her next book-music combo, "Lisa Loeb's Songs for Movin' and Shakin': The Air Band Song and Other Toe-Tapping Tunes," is due in April.

Loeb said she was partly inspired by Carole King's "Really Rosie" album.

"It was something I wanted to do ever since I was a kid listening to kids music that I liked," Loeb said.

According to Loeb, the rocking title track from "No Fairy Tale" deals with the idea of seeking perfection in life.

"It's really about the pursuit of perfection and this perfect fairy tale relationship and life, and realizing that when you're trying to avoid any negative experiences, you're not actually fully living," Loeb said. "So it's really about that life is more rich when it has its real up and downs. All the things that make up fairy tales, just like all things that make up a real life, that's what really gives you a very rich life."