Jenny Lewis continues to live up to her status as indie-rock darling on her first semi-solo album, Rabbit Fur Coat. Sweet vocals paired with wistful storytelling make for a little gem of a record. Lewis doesnâ€šÃ„Ã´t shine every single moment, but the earnestness in her performance makes it rather easy to overlook any lesser areas.The Watson Twins and their rich, Kentucky-bred harmonies are put to perfect use against Lewisâ€šÃ„Ã´ commanding voice. The talented threesome sound strong together, and without the Watsons backing her Lewisâ€šÃ„Ã´ country flair would have played rather feebly.
ame Rabbit Fur Coat manages to find a middle ground that will appeal to alt-country fans as well as kitsch-obsessed hipsters. The moods on the album vary from the lush vocals and steady pace of â€šÃ„ÃºRise Up With Fistsâ€šÃ„Ã¹ to the beautiful twang and quick tempo on â€šÃ„ÃºThe Big Guns.â€šÃ„Ã¹
ame On â€šÃ„ÃºThe Charging Skyâ€šÃ„Ã¹ Lewis sings â€šÃ„ÃºStill theyâ€šÃ„Ã´re dying on the dark continent/Itâ€šÃ„Ã´s been happening long enough to mention it.â€šÃ„Ã¹ Lewis does a good job of crafting songs with world aware notes like this as well as more personal tales of woe.
ame One of the albumâ€šÃ„Ã´s highlights is a cover of The Traveling Wilburyâ€šÃ„Ã´s â€šÃ„ÃºHandle With Care.â€šÃ„Ã¹ That original superband featured talents the likes of George Harrison, Jeff Lynne, Tom Petty, Bob Dylan and Roy Orbison. For her version Lewis brings in Ben Gibbard and Conor Oberst, and they help create the most rollicking track on the album.
ame The community feel of Rabbit Fur Coat is just what the indie-country sound needed. Lewis consistently creates solid music, and her first solo album is another prize to add to her list of accomplishments.