Jenny Lewis – Acid Tongue

September 23, 2008

How you feel about Jenny Lewis’ second solo album may be dependent on how you felt about Rilo Kiley’s Under The Blacklight, since Acid Tongue exists in largely the same musical universe as that album. The majority of the songs here are firmly rooted in 70’s era country, pop and bluesy rock, with a couple of nods to blue-eyed soul via Dusty Springfield, all genres Lewis takes to with ease. “Black Sand” gets things off to a solid start, with Lewis seemingly channeling Kate Bush and the Beatles a bit to good effect. One of the highlights, and possibly the pinnacle, of the album is the nearly nine minute long psychedelic blues rock opus, “The Next Messiah,” which features some top notch back up from guitarist and vocalist Johnathan Rice. On “Carpetbaggers,” Lewis duets with Elvis Costello, and seems to riff of Neil Young’s “Love is A Rose” to some degree, although the song here is quite a bit sexier and sassier. Mention also has to be made of the rousing “Jack Killed Mom,” which starts out sounding a bit like the story songs of Bobbie Gentry and Vicki Lawrence, but then ends with a country rave-up. The final track, the gentle ballad “Sing A Song For Them,” recalls the first couple of Rilo Kiley’s first albums. I really enjoyed listening to this album, not least because of Lewis’ voice and her intelligent and witty lyrics, but also because it’s fun, entertaining music, crafted with care and passion. Is it a classic? I don’t know, but it sure goes down smoothly. Standout cuts: “Black Sand,” “The Next Messiah,” “Acid Tongue” and “Carpetbaggers.”


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