Sunday, September 14, 2008

Trippin' on "Acid."

Jenny Lewis: Rilo Kiley frontwoman, indie rock princess, former Angelina Jolie costar, red-head awareness raiser.


Many titles for one woman, and she deserves them all. Her work with Rilo Kiley is of course classic, and her 2006 solo debut Rabbit Fur Coat was pretty darn good. Actually, it was great. I think I played it too much during senior year of high school, and it got all scratched up. Oops.

Lucky for me, she's releasing another disc on September 23, titled Acid Tongue. Even luckier for me, it was posted in its entirety on her MySpace, though now there are curiously only two tracks up. At least there are still those semi-creepy YouTube videos she made with Ben Gibbard to watch. Why can't he be hiding in my closet?

While Rabbit Fur Coat was totally stripped down - mostly soft acoustic tracks with Jenny's (Ms. Lewis if you're nasty) airy vocals soaring above it all - Acid Tongue has heavier instrumentation and a more diverse sound. But for the purist in you, don't worry: there are still the gentle alt-country tracks you'd expect.

"The Next Messiah" is a straight-up Southern rock jam, complete with deep bass lines and pulsing guitar lines. The title track, on the other hand, is a pretty, poetic ditty, perfect for romancing that special someone. But my favorite of the album (making a bold claim here) is most likely the opener, "Black Sand."

It's way too early to decide which album I like better. I mean, I haven't even purchased Acid Tongue yet, let alone played it ad naseum into oblivion. But after these first few listens, it's right up there with Jenny Lewis' original solo work. No wonder Rilo's Under the Blacklight was so lackluster - Ms. Lewis seems to have spent more of her energy here, particularly in the songwriting department. Don't get me wrong, I like "Moneymaker" just as much as the next hipster, but you can only hear her pant "Ow ow owwwww ooooohhh yeahhhh" so many times.

Despite my great despair that Acid Tongue was taken off MySpace, I'll still be able to hear it WHEN I SEE HER LIVE. Uhh, yeah. Next weekend in Omaha, her old stomping grounds. (Sorry editors, I'll have to miss the exciting Sunday A&C meeting, but I hope you understand). Stay tuned to read my reactions.


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