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Rilo Kiley: More Adventurous

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When reviewing indie rock it’s become hard to mention emotion without worrying that the readers will write off the artist as an emo band. It becomes especially worrisome when the artist in question is one that the reviewer has found to enjoy. To become misunderstood completely defeats the purpose of trying to explain an opinion. Yet, emotion is in all music and the way it connects with people is important.

More Adventurous connects with me on an emotional level. Because as proficient and elegant as the songs are performed, what really drives this CD for me is how Jenny Lewis’ vocals highlight and punctuate the concepts in the lyrics. She makes me feel how the speakers in the lyrics feel. Lines like, “A married man, he visits me/I received his letters in the mail twice a week/And I think he loves me/and when he leaves her/he’s coming out to California,” (from the song “Does He Love You?”) seem kind of bland to just read but Lewis’ ability to convey genuine emotion make the lines feel like the saddest thing ever written.

The music is solid indie rock with dancing guitar solos and loud riffs. As with many indie artists these days there are a number of alt country influences. If you took away Jenny Lewis’ singing, this would be a nice but unspectacular release. However, she takes this album and catapults it to the level of some of the finest in the genre.

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  • http://www.dorksandlosers.com Tan The Man

    Rilo Kiley is cool.

  • http://blogcritics.org SteveC

    This is a solid album. I love the scathing description of a certain political leader in the song “It’s a Hit.”