Guess The Tune Game

Rabbit Fur Coat

Studio Album by released in 2006
Rabbit Fur Coat's tracklist:
Run Devil Run
The Big Guns
Rise Up With Fists!!
Happy
The Charging Sky
Melt Your Heart
You Are What You Love
Rabbit Fur Coat
Handle With Care
Born Secular
It Wasn't Me
Happy (reprise)

Rabbit Fur Coat review

Jenny Lewis is one of indie rock's treasured saints

She's got hair the color of a Pacific sunset, a voice as sweet as an ice cream cone, and a wit sharper than a razorblade. Born in Las Vegas in early 1977, singer/songwriter Jenny Lewis is one of indie rock's treasured saints. Lewis' talent is a near match for classics such as Loretta Lynn and Petula Clark as well as contemporaries like Neko Case. Lewis is best known for her work as co-songwriter and vocalist for the Los Angeles indie pop group Rilo Kiley. She has also lent her vocals to albums by the Good Life, Cursive, and the Postal Service. In the midst of the release of Rilo Kiley's third album, 2004's More Adventurous, Lewis began working on her debut solo and most soul/country record to date, Rabbit Fur Coat. This enchanting set featured vocals by Kentucky-born singers Chandra and Leigh Watson – thus the moniker Jenny Lewis With the Watson Twins was born. The Watsons’ southern belle harmonies give the album a charmingly dusty tone, but its Jenny’s own powerful voice and compelling storytelling that makes the songs of busted relationships and failed faith really sting.

All of the tracks on Rabbit Fur Coat are at once relatable and familiar

You know it's special from the first bars. Run Devil Run is a minute a capella with Lewis and the Watsons, and it's a remarkable display of technical skill: Lewis does, after all, have one of the most wonderful voices of them all. After this is Big Guns, all busy guitars and prominent vocals until the second verse, when a thumping bass drum comes to build things to their exultant hand-clapping conclusion. There are no lapses: The Charging Sky, a jaunty pedal-steel spiritual crisis; the quiet, hymnal Born Secular; the rootsy, state of the nation cover of Handle With Care, with Death Cab for Cutie’s Ben Gibbard as Roy Orbison and Bright Eyes’ Conor Oberst as Bob Dylan. Three famous vegans for the price of one! At the center of everything is the title track, Lewis for once totally alone with an acoustic guitar and the true heartbreaking story of her absent mother. Throughout the record wild and woolly characters come and go (lovers, fighters, mothers, fathers, and assorted chancers and charlatans) but all are grounded in Jenny's inimitable worldview, one where the fantastic is possible but reality is sometimes far too real. Whether the subject is drinking beer with friends or unknowable sadness, all of the tracks on Rabbit Fur Coat are at once relatable and familiar; Jenny's honeyed voice like that of an old friend.

Jenny Lewis's magnificent solo debut is the only winter Coat you need

Rabbit Fur Coat is a moody, atmospheric listen that never gets quite as melancholy as it suggests and holds together better than any Rilo Kiley album to date. The production is arresting: the engineers – primarily Bright Eyes guy Mike Mogis – are always ready for Jenny Lewis' close-ups, from the soaring a cappella opening track to the acoustic ballads, where they adoringly catch the strengths and nuances of her crisp, clear alto. The twins are a winning addition to every song on which they appear, although they sound so good that you start to take them for granted. Rabbit Fur Coat is a rare album in today's marketplace: a singular collection highlighting a singular voice, and an album equally suited to the darkest parts of midnight and the bright light of day. All that's missing from this package is the hiss and crackle of vinyl, a shoulder to cry or lean on, and a tall mug of something strong to sip slowly. In a new year, with the trees bare and the snow piling up, Jenny Lewis's magnificent solo debut is the only winter Coat you need. And, though Lewis may not yet be as widely popular as Dolly Parton or Loretta Lynn, her album surely succeeds in teaching Shania Twain a thing or two.

(01.02.2006)
Rate review4.27
Total votes - 11


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