Wednesday, March 01, 2006


My tax refund has come and gone. Like with most years, a large chunk went towards new CD's (mostly stuff I never got around to getting). This year's purchases:

Airport 5 - Tower in the Fountain of Sparks
Airport 5 - Life Starts Here
Blur - The Great Escape
Guided By Voices - Vampire on Titus
Mountain Goats - The Coroner's Gambit

Throw in a new cardigan, some new jeans, and a portion into savings, and it's all gone.

That's a lot of music to keep me occupied, but I still wanted to pick up something new. It was between the new Cat Power and Jenny Lewis' solo debut. After I saw Lewis' video on Subterranean Sunday night, it was settled.

I'll admit that I came had a bit of negative bias towards this album before I picked it up. I like Jenny Lewis/Rilo Kiley, but I'm not a big fan. Sorry hipsters. It's something that I listen to occasionally, but not with a great deal of confidence. When I heard about this album's country concept, I was very sceptical. I've heard Jenny try out some country sounds with Rilo Kiley with very unsatisfactory results. Then I saw that she covers the Traveling Wilburys' "Handle With Care" with Ben Gibbard as Roy Orbison, M. Ward as Jeff Lynne, and Conor Oberst as Bob Dylan. Oh boy, this album was definitely heading towards gimmick-land. Not good.

Still "Rise Up With Fists!!" was a hell of a song when I saw the video.

Likewise, the rest of the album follows suit. It's pretty damn good! Not as forced as I figured. There are still those moments when Jenny tries a little too hard to be Linda Ronstadt or something, but it doesn't get in the way of the finished product. Even "Handle With Care" is great! It just feels great to hear this stuff. Easily better than any Rilo Kiley releases. Not spectacular, but my prejudgement was definitely inaccurate.