Saturday, June 30, 2007
AUDIO ARMAGEDDON: RABBIT FUR COAT
Oh, that Jenny Lewis. Gone are the carefree days of making out with Fred Savage and getting felt up by creepy old men. J-Lew's all grown'd up now, and she's a rockstar.
But before I continue on with this review, I feel we should all get something out of our systems first.
Now that that's out of the way, I'll continue. I'm normally not a fan of recently released music, but last year, this album really caught my attention. I'll admit, I wouldn't have given a frog's fat ass about Jenny Lewis had she not been in the greatest film of all time, The Wizard (now available on DVD!) starring the adorable Fred Savage. I hope Ms. Lewis isn't resentful about starring in a Fred Savage movie about Nintendo, because I guarantee you it helped her career more than it ever could've hurt it.
Anyways, I just finally got around to purchasing this album, and I'm pleasantly surprised. The vocals are hauntingly beautiful. I mean, it's the stuff that will make the hair on your balls stand up and slap you in the face. The entire vibe of the record is just beautiful. It's like country, without the twangy vocals that, sorry to say, went out of style long ago.
When I first popped this album in, I wasn't really sure what to expect. It was either going to blow, or it was going to be fantastic. Now, there are a couple of stinkers, but the majority of the album is absolutely delightful. I'll review a few highlights.
The album opens with a track called Run Devil Run. Albeit a tad boring, it's certainly a good opener. The album really kicks off with The Big Guns, which harkens back to bouncy folk music of the 60s and 70s, such as The Beatles' Rubber Soul.
The next song, Rise Up With Fists, definitely has a country sound. I'm reminded of greats such as Tammy Wynette and Loretta Lynn.
Next is Happy, which is instantly in my top 10 songs ever. It's just heavenly. It reminds me of the LonLon Ranch theme from The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time. This song must be heard to be believed, although the end of the song seems to borrow a few guitar melodies from Willie Nelson's Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain. But hey, it's a good sound, why the hell not?
Next up is The Charging Sky and Melt Your Heart, followed by You Are What You Love. All three are just peachy. The title track, Rabbit Fur Coat, is one of the only two stinkers on the album. It's cute the first couple of times, but it gets incredibly boring.
It seems they were ballsy enough to cover the Travelling Wilburys song, Handle with Care. I'm sorry, but this is one of those songs that shouldn't be covered, ever. J-Lew and the Watson Twins could've sang the entire song themselves and kept up with the theme of a female driven album, but no, they had to bring in a couple of "all-star" indie dipshits who are very obviously trying to replicate Roy Orbison and Bob Dylan. It can't be done, but they get points for trying.
Anyway, minor gripe aside, next is Born Secular, a smokey bar room piano ballad, and It Wasn't Me, which does a good job of closing the album. The record ends with a fantastic reprise of Happy, and it couldn't have ended a better way. All in all, I give this album 9 out of 10 Power Gloves. Best album of 2006, although that ain't saying much.