Jenny Lewis- 'Acid Tongue' (2008)

Hey everyone. Silver Pencilled here. I’m the newest Modern Music blog member and I’m going to be writing reviews from here on out. I’m pretty excited to get a chance like this to share my thoughts on all the great (and maybe not so great) new music out there. I’ve been listening to Jenny Lewis’ new album, ‘Acid Tongue’, and so my first ever music review shall be about it.

Honestly, I knew very little about Jenny Lewis before I started. Since then I’ve sought out more of her stuff, and have heard most of her previous release ‘Rabbit Fur Coat’. It’s pretty clear that ‘Acid Tongue’ has her same sugary sweet voice, but the new songs are often more rough than melodic and also more country than the last. It makes ‘Rabbit Fur Coat’ seem almost like pop. It’s also a pretty bitter album lyrics-wise, but isn’t bittersweet one of those complex flavors everyone loves in a good piece of dark chocolate? All of her hallmarks are here, the beautiful voice, the chilling songs about hard times, and the style that’s always flirting with gospel, country, indie rock, and more.

The songs ranged from rollicking foot stompers, like ‘See Fernando’, to soulful, as in Tryin’ My Best to Love You’, which was like light shining through a stained glass window; mournful, quiet, but lovely. Everyone has been making a big deal about Elvis Costello’s contribution to ‘Carpetbaggers’, but I found his voice to be a poor compliment to hers. It was too thick and heavy compared to the sparkly jewel that is Jenny Lewis. ‘The Next Messiah’, which I have heard called a ‘mini-rock opera’ was pretty entertaining. It makes you want to slide on your sunglasses and ride west in an open convertible. It felt like cool, old-fashioned rock bred with soul. But at over eight minutes long, I don’t know that I’ll be putting it on any of my mix playlists even if it’s a great song, as it’s a bit of a commitment to listen to.

‘Acid Tongue’, the widely released title track, is one of the stand-out tracks and is great single material, probably because it’s easily accessible to a general audience. Especially when compared to a track like ‘Jack Killed Mom’ which quickly turns into a dark ballad about an Oedipus complex and a murder, and finishes with some pretty crazed wailing. I didn’t like this song as much as others, but you gotta love the wild gospel shout-outs in the last minutes. My overall favorite was ‘Sing a Song for Them’. It was like a perfect orange, sour and sweet, with juicy, contemplative lyrics about “little girls with carousel eyes” and “boulevard freaks”. Maybe it was just the cold night air, but it gave me chills. A perfect album ending song.

I’m a sucker for pretty, I guess, but also the toughness of the album, and I do love the old fashioned country styles stirred in. I don’t care as much for the few songs that just felt slow and dull with a lot less passion in them (Black Sand, Pretty Bird). The whole album is certainly worth a thorough listen.

I give it a 8.5/10

Jenny Lewis- Acid Tongue

Track List
Black Sand
Pretty Bird
The Next Messiah
Bad Man’s WorldAcid Tongue
See Fernando
Tryin’ My Best to Love You
Jack Killed Mom
Sing a Song for Them
(Pelican Bay- bonus track on iTunes)


Any major dude with half a heart on 1:07 pm said...

I'm pretty certain I'll enjoy the album, but a whole review without reference to Rilo Kiley? Do yourself a favour and check out Rilo Kiley's material, especially the More Adventurous album.

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