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Jenny Lewis 

Acid Tongue

Jenny Lewis
Acid Tongue
Jenny Lewis has been accused of saving her best songs and why shouldn't she? As a solo artist, she has to fend for herself; in a band, in this case, Rilo Kiley, she's only responsible for one-quarter of the awesome and has been providing about three times that since the band's inception. Under the Blacklight, RK's last LP, was a disappointing, shallow foray into disco, but a handful of songs hinted at the '70s country that comes roaring to life with vigour and style on Acid Tongue, the follow-up to Lewis' 2006 neo-classic debut Rabbit Fur Coat. It starts with a bad bounce, lyrically and vocally, on "Black Sands," but kicks into overdrive by track three, the almost nine-minute "The Next Messiah," a story-song about a con man and a waitress "who thinks she's an artist," sung as a call-and-response between Lewis and special friend Jonathan Rice. Longtime RK fan Elvis Costello shows up on the title track---a gorgeous and simple ballad about coming to terms with loneliness---and the post-war jam "Carpetbaggers." Where Rabbit Fur Coat questioned faith, Acid Tongue spins down-home Americana tales of crime, lust and on closer "Sing a Song for Them," hope. If this is the kind of material Lewis can produce on her own, Rilo Kiley should respectfully step off and let her go.
---Tara Thorne
categories: Coast pick


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