Sunday, January 01, 2006

the first great album of 2006: rabbit fur coat.

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this should be no secret to anyone. i've always had a crush on jenny lewis. not only because of she's beautiful; [that's a little too obvious] the young lady is also extremely smart, a very talented songwriter, and owner of one of the most sultry voices in music today. the watson twins provide a soulful accompaniment to lewis' vocals. but, i am a little biased. oh well.

track one. "run devil run":
it's really just an intro. the lyrics are only three words, but the harmonies are top-notch, and i can't help but sing along with this.

track two. "big guns":
starts out with a bluegrass-ish guitar strum, and thought-provoking lyrics that you should expect from ms. lewis: "and i've won hundreds at the track/but i'm not bettin' on the afterlife". the stomp on the kick drum that come in after the first verse are a nice touch, too.

track three. "rise up with fists!":
this sounds like it could have been on more adventurous, with its laid back alt-country pop sound. it seems like one of the themes on this album is god and struggling with the idea of his existance. the third verse creates the wonderful imagery of the cops coming after a man with a house arrest ankle bracelet.

track four. "happy":
if country music were this good, i probably wouldn't have such a serious problem with it. a wonderful acoustic track.

track five. "the charging sky":
the watson twins get some nice "ooh oohs" in here. and jenny questions the existance of god again, "in the desert underneath the charging sky/it's just you and god/but what if god's not there?/and his name's on your dollar bill/which just became cab fare.."

track six. "melt your heart":
the subdued drums on this song works very well with the melody. heartbreakingly beautiful.

track seven. "you are what you love":
sort of a breakup song. painting on a bullshit canvas kinda sucks.

track eight. "rabbit fur coat":
the best narrative of the album. it's also just jenny and a guitar. a heartbreaking tale of sin, hundred-thousand dollar kids and mansion houses.

track nine. "handle with care (featuring conor oberst, ben gibbard, and m. ward)":
the traveling wilburys cover that everyone talks about. it fits the theme of the album, but that doesn't mean i have to like it. it doesn't do anything for me.

track ten. "born secular":
of course, staying on the theme of god and his existance, here is the most flagrant example of the theme. the backing vocals by the watson twins are supreme. "god works (god works, god works)/in mysterious ways/ and god gives (god gives, god gives)/and he takes/from meeeeeeeee.." when the drums kick in towards the end, it's makes for the climax of the entire album.

track eleven. "it wasn't me":
this track drags on just a little, and it makes you wish "born secular" would have been the last song on the album.

track twelve. "happy (reprise)":
just jenny singing the chorus of "happy". it works great as an outro.

summary: i know i make it seem like jenny lewis can do no wrong, but this is really a stellar album. this rivals anything she's ever done with rilo kiley, and as a whole, it's considerably better than more adventurous. the running theme about the existance of god makes this a very cohesive piece of work. the watson twins do their job as backup singers really well, and the instrumentation and production on this record are both top notch.

essential tracks: "born secular", "big guns", "melt your heart", "rabbit fur coat"


Blogger willfabro said...

i wish this and the new cat power could converge into one countrified ingenue sighfest

really excellent vocals on this record. she's matured greatly in that dept

7:15 PM  

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