Jenny Lewis – Acid Tongue
Ah, Jenny Lewis. She’s really something else. The opening track, Black Sand, on her new LP gives an indication of why we love her at Incendiary. At first I missed out on it totally, (possibly because of its sparse arrangement and low key presence) but repeated listens reveal it to be a very witty track indeed with a brilliant build up in tension by the end.
There’s this laid back groove inherent in Lewis’ music that’s very appealing. You never get the feeling that she’s happy with doing the female singer-songwriter thing at all. You know; all that goofy, quirky, coy stuff. Her records are crafted and precise, almost analytical in their approach. And there seems to be a point to the stories in the songs. You can hear this hawk-like confidence in stuff like Pretty Bird and Bad Man’s World and the vocal delivery of Jack Killed Mom. Or the beautiful, gospel-tinged Trying My Best to Love You. It’s very Patsy Kline at times.
She’s not scared to rough it up either. Stuff like The Next Messiah and harks back to a classic American sound; a sort of hard drinking country-gent rock: that of Jerry Lee Carl Perkins and Scotty Parker. Elvis Costello (no stranger to this genre) guest stars on the excellent and sarcastic Carpetbaggers, which has a real Jackson-style swing to it.
Overall, it’s a fabulous LP.
Words: Richard Foster