Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Music Decade List #17: Jenny Lewis with the Watston Twins - Rabbit Fur Coat (2006)

Rabbit Fur Coat may have shocked someone expecting to hear more of Rilo Kiley in Jenny Lewis's solo debut. The blues, soul, and country influences here were also beginning to move into some of the songs on More Adventurous, which makes this feel like a natural progression. The albums starts off in a more American vibe, with the vocal harmonies of the Watson Twins playing a prominent role in 'Run Devil Run' and 'Rise Up With Fists'. There's also some up-tempo numbers like 'The Charging Sky' and a cover of the Traveling Wilbury's 'Handle with Care' that run full bore into that category. I would make the case that when Lewis strength is the more soulful, introspective songs on the album. 'Happy' and the title track are bittersweet, more intimate songs that show off a more soulful side of Lewis. While she doesn't have a big voice, it fits much better into quieter, acoustic numbers than the more uptempo numbers. Overall, the decision to adopt more of a country and blue-eyed soul sound makes Rabbit Fur Coat much more appealing to me than a typical Rilo Kiley album. That isn't meant to say that Rilo Kiley is crap but Lewis's solo output finds the new direction working just as well.

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