Sunday, January 22, 2006

Jenny Lewis - Rabbit Fur Coat

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Jenny Lewis is a fox. There, I've got that out of the way from the start. Also, I love Rilo Kiley. So as you can see, I'm not exactly approaching this from a neutral standpoint. Prior to listening to it, I want to love it. In fact, even if I didn't I'd be tempted to lie on here anyway and say it was brilliant safe in the knowledge that most people in the world will never listen to it anyway. But thankfully I don't have to lie, because the album is bloody fantastic.

For want of a better term, this could almost be described as Jenny's "country" album, although its completely unlike any country album you might have ever heard in quite a long while. Whilst the music may have headed to Nashville country, the lyrics, often a strong point of Rilo Kiley's albums, remain as thoughtful, acerbic and whilstful as ever. Connor Oberst (who's record label released this effort and who guests on a couple of tracks) is often lauded as the preminent songwriter in Modern America (the new Bob Dylan if you will), but for my money he's not a patch on Lewis, as evidenced on the likes of "Rise Up With Fists", "You Are What You Love" and the title track.

At times it gets a little too miserable for its own good, and is hardly a mainstream album (and as such won't represent something of a break-through that certain critics have suggested) but that doesn't change the fact that it is a bloody good album and certainly one that deserves the almost unanimous praise that its been getting.

Hell, even the Travelling Wilbury's cover, which could have been awful, is good. All in all this is a triumph. And who cares if it won't sell in it's millions, because at the end of the day, it's the millions who will be missing out.

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