Jenny Lewis/The Watson Twins: Jenny Lewis (vocals); Chandra Watson, Leigh Watson (vocals).
Additional personnel: Greg Kurstin, M. Ward, Mickey Madden, Ben Gibbard, James Valentine, Jason Boesel, Conor Oberst, Rachel Blumberg.
Singer-songwriter Jenny Lewis made a name for herself with the indie-rock outfit Rilo Kiley, and her solo debut, RABBIT FUR COAT, continues in the footsteps of that group's arty, country-influenced Americana. Yet RABBIT FUR COAT is more stripped-down, moody, and roots-conscious than any Rilo Kiley release with its mixture of blues, gospel, and country.
Each of these genres is folded beautifully together, with notable assistance from Southern-bred singers Chandra and Lee Watson (who provide lush back-up harmonies throughout), and guest indie luminaries M. Ward (a roots connoisseur in his own right), Conor Oberst of Bright Eyes, and Death Cab for Cutie's Ben Gibbard. (All four come together for an enjoyable reading of the Traveling Wilbury's "Handle Me With Care.") Compelling, confessional songwriting and Lewis's vulnerable, lilting voice are the glue that holds the eclectic mix together, making for a truly winning debut.
What the critics say...
Rolling Stone (p.62) - 3.5 stars out of 5 -- "Her girlishly seductive vocals are more versatile than ever; she sounds like Lucinda Williams' clean-living little sis on the gorgeous, full-moon ballad 'Happy'..."
Spin (p.60) - Ranked #13 in Spin's "The 40 Best Albums of 2006" -- "[Lewis] breezes through the back pages of country soul with an easy but therapy-deep self-awareness."
Entertainment Weekly (p.70) - "Consider Lewis the Emmylou Harris of the Silverlake set, her exquisite voice masking smart, tart lyrics..." -- Grade: A-
Q (p.122) - Ranked #27 in Q Magazine's "100 Greatest Albums of 2006" -- "[with] some wonderfully rich arrangements."
Uncut (p.78) - 5 stars out of 5 -- "[T]he album is elevated by the breathy gospel harmonies of the Watson twins, a pair of blue-eyed soul sisters from Kentucky..."
- Run Devil Run
- Big Guns, The
- Rise Up With Fists!!!
- Charging Sky, The
- Melt Your Heart
- You Are What You Love
- Rabbit Fur Coat
- Handle With Care
- Born Secular
- It Wasn't Me
- Happy (Reprise)