That Jenny Lewis is a powerful woman. As much as I was hooked by Rilo Kiley's More Adventurous, and then the weird but wonderful transition to Under The Blacklight, it was the interim solo record Rabbit Fur Coat that just slayed me. There had been a lot of interesting writing about the album, but I had this idea that it was a folkie sort of thing. Weird, because I'm normally all about the folkie sort of thing. It was just a passing mood, I guess.
But then I saw Jenny and the Watson Twins perform that title track on Letterman.
Oh…my…gawd. I was transfixed. Mesmerized. Jaw aslack. A pop music deer caught in Lewis's headlights. It's just one of those things.
All of which brings me to Momofuku. Well, not quite. First we have to go through Jenny Lewis's new record, Acid Tongue. I'll write a review of that one as soon as I can listen without drool falling onto my writing pad. There's one pertinent bit of information to relate though, and that is the absolutely stunning performance that Lewis and Elvis Costello deliver on "Carpetbaggers." I let an Internet friend know about the song and yesterday she related the fact that Lewis appears on Costello's latest.
Off to the record store I go, maybe ten minutes after receiving that email.
It turns out that for Mofofuku, Elvis also worked with Johnathan Rice and David Higaldo. It's a spontaneous affair, recorded in a very short period of time, and that's a good thing. The album manages to feel spontaneous, rambling, and yet cohesive all at the same time. There are bits of the Elvis of old (especially the organ on "American Gangster Time") as well as Spike-by-way-of-Tom Waits with such chunks of fun as "Harry Worth" and "Mr. Feathers." Costello spends time visiting the land of soul ("Flutter And Wow") and balladry (the gorgeous "My Three Sons"), while not forgetting how to rock out: "Turpentine," "No Hiding Place," and the stomping closing track "Go Away."
Of course, my ears like this record just a little bit more due to Jenny Lewis's backing vocals. It's really nice to see this side of Costello reinvigorated by the likes of Lewis and Rice. Like I said, she is a powerful woman, and this record feels like far more than just a passing mood.