Monday, October 06, 2008

Jenny Lewis - Acid Tongue

Download: Jenny Lewis - "Acid Tongue"
Download: Jenny Lewis - "Carpetbaggers"

Jenny Lewis
Acid Tongue (Warner Bros. Records, 2008)
Grade: A-

Jenny Lewis has earned herself a quaint little niche in the music business; she’s become the indie darling of the 2000s, and shows no signs of slowing down. The Rilo Kiley lead vocalist branched out in 2006 with the simple and haunting album Rabbit Fur Coat, donning an acoustic guitar and sweet, sentimental vocals, accompanied by the harmoniously synchronized sounds of The Watson Twins. Fur Coat was adored by critics and fans alike, hailed as a great triumph for Lewis and proved what she’s capable of on a solo level.

After 2 years and yet another Rilo Kiley album (Under the Blacklight), Lewis is back with her highly anticipated sophomore solo release, Acid Tongue. Her latest effort doesn’t sound like anything that came before in terms of sound, which is about the only similarity the album has to the country-tinted Fur Coat. Instead, Acid Tongue echoes sounds of the early seventies; her voice (and overall style, at the moment) is channeling the likes of The Carpenters and Carole King, synching perfectly with classic-rock guitar and piano solos. Lewis pulls out all the stops on Acid Tongue, working with a variety of artists like alt-rock icon Elvis Costello and the newly popular duo She & Him.

These collaborations could have come across as over-the-top and unnecessary, but the tracks on Acid Tongue all have a different flavor, and the artists playing with Lewis only add to the wonderfully addictive array of tracks. A song like “Godspeed” is sweet and soulful, what one would perhaps consider to be classic solo Jenny Lewis: honest lyrics doubled with simple, but utterly endearing, music. These ballads are perfectly balanced with upbeat, catchy tunes such as “Carpetbaggers” and “The Next Messiah,” where Lewis’s vocals are amplified. She blasts the songs out of the realm of her typical tag of ‘cute’ and into the arena of straight-up rock and roll.

Some fans fear change when an artist takes a sharp turn in an opposite direction; simply because sometimes it just doesn’t translate well from one genre to the next. Jenny Lewis has a voice that can seemingly pull off any sound she’s into at the moment. This bohemian bellbottom style fits her seamlessly, and Acid Tongue is sure to be one of the most diverse and engaging albums of the year.

Jenny Lewis MySpace Page

(Tara Rogan)

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Blogger Nonya said...

The link for Carpet Baggers is incorrect.

2:56 AM  
Blogger MPLSFR said...

Nonya -
Try it now.

7:04 AM  
Blogger walknthabass said...

She and Costello were great on Letterman last night performing "Carpetbagger"!

12:04 PM  

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