The first and only time I saw Rilo Kiley, they were opening for Elliott Smith at the Henry Fonda Theater. Jenny Lewis, the band’s lead singer, was in obvious awe of the now-late songwriter, thanking him for asking her band to play the show by saying, “It’s like opening for John Lennon.” This, needless to say, endeared her to me immediately.
Five years and a few studio misfires later, Jenny’s won me over all over again. “Acid Tongue,” the first single from the LP of the same name, makes one major improvement from Rabbit Fur Coat‘s faux gospel style by throwing out the Watson twins in favor of Chris Robinson and Johnathan Rice on backing vox, a switch that paints the song with blues instead of cartoonish reds and yellows. “Nobody helps a liar,” she sings, her voice ringing free of humor or worse, country carpetbagging. Lewis is no Lennon, but give her credit for not being McCartney anymore.
Jenny Lewis – “Acid Tongue”: stream
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