Monday, July 27, 2009

The Jenny Lewis blog

Part two of three!

After Rilo Kiley's last album Under the Blacklight, Jenny Lewis decided to go solo. After a chance meeting with twin sister singers the Watson Twins, Jenny decided to collaborate with them on her then upcoming album. In 2006, Rabbit Fur Coat was released on Team Love records (another Oberst brainchild). 

I absolutely fell in love with Jenny all over again upon hearing this album. I had heard "Rabbit Fur Coat" via Nip/Tuck a few years ago and I immediately said "That's Jenny Lewis." After never bothering to go looking for it to download it, I was browsing the iTunes Store and I saw Drew Barrymore's Celebrity Playlist and decided to look at it. After going through a few songs on the playlist that I liked (most notably "Starlight" by Muse) I came across Jenny's song again and downloaded it.

Finally, I got around to listening to the entire Rabbit Fur Coat album. Jenny and the Watson Twins sounded like heaven on a record. I thought she was wonderful as RK's frontwoman, but she was even better on her own. I can honestly say that I liked every song on the album. Jenny really bloomed with her songwriting; she wrote about her mom a lot on the record, God, and relationships. 

One of my favorites on the record and one of my favorite songs in general is "You Are What You Love." It's definitely something special. It has a simple message ("You are what you love and not what loves you back.") and it's overall a catchy tune. "Rise Up With Fists!!" is another jem. The music video is also a treat, with a guest appearance made by Sarah Silverman, it's a bit of a parody of the old country time "variety shows". And, of course, Jenny and the Twins looks wonderful as always.

If I started to make "special mentions" now, I'd be naming every song on the album! But, I have to say, Jenny's "Handle Me With Care" cover is incredible. Instead of the dashing men of the Traveling Wilburys, Jenny invites friends Conor Oberst, Ben Gibbard and M. Ward to help her execute the tune. 

All in all, it was a wonderful album. I definitely recommend everybody listen to it. It's definitely different than Rilo Kiley's earlier music, but it can be previewed a little on More Adventurous.

Another song I feel inclined to mention is "What'll I Do" by the Watson Twins. Off their latest album Southern Manners, I had had the song in my iTunes library for quite some time and had listened to it, but not all the way through. It's haunting, beautiful and sad and the one time I finally decided to let it play all the way through (I'm crazy when it comes to changing songs) and I find out that Jenny sings on the track, which just made it that much better. She ends up taking to chorus the last two times, I believe, and all three women close the song and it ends with a melancholy guitar. 

Next up: Acid Tongue! And collaborations with Elvis Costello and Jonathan Rice and a song written by Jack White.



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