Sometimes in life, the cheeriest people on the block also happen to be the most depressed. This is clearly evident in Rilo Kiley's More Adventurous, where vocalist Jenny Lewis intimately discusses the emotional highs and lows of being a pretty girl with some ugly thoughts.
Popular among indie elitists in a snobby LA local music scene, Rilo Kiley throw in folk, twang and soul wherever possible. Ben Gibbard, a fellow indie singer for Death Cab for Cutie, liked the band so much he invited Lewis to join Postal Service, a side project that yielded 2003's Give Up, a favorite among critics.
The band, comprised of Lewis, Blake Sennett, Pierre de Reeder, and Jason Boesel got its start back in circa 1995, when teenagers Lewis and Sennet met in Los Angeles. The duo started their careers in fame, like many other ambitious LA residents, in acting. Lewis has starred in countless unmemorable TV and movie roles since the eighties; Sennet grew mild popularity with recurring roles in teeny bopper hits Salute Your Shorts and Boy Meets World.
Perhaps all the trivial roles the band founders played prior to 1995 attribute this lack of contentment to life in general. More Adventurous wanders around these fumbling, dreary thoughts of the detached Lewis in a wonderfully melodic manner, as she forgoes a journey towards all and nothing at once.
Several tracks point their frustration, as countless other bands are doing now, at the war on terror. "It's a Hit" unapologetically calls President a "chimp," sweetly quipping: any fool can play executioner for a day/and say with fingers pointed in both directions/he went that way.
Despite their somewhat harsh political commentaries, Lewis' most heartfelt frustrations seem to be tangled up in her confused image of love. In "Does He Love You," Lewis confesses an affair with a married friend, whereas "Portions for Foxes" proclaims the singer's lust for one night stands. "Ripchord" appears to answer Lewis' inner pitfalls with by Sennet's weakly-sung song, backed up solely by a scratchy recording and acoustic guitar. Songs "A Man/Me/Then Jim" and "It Just Is" appear to revel a little in the death of close friend, once again proving just how personal and straightforward More Adventurous gets.
Lewis says in the album's title track, I read that with every broken heart we should become more adventurous. Rilo Kiley's singer isn't striking profundity with these words of wisdom, and it seems to be on purpose. More Adventurous manages to bottle all that frustration we experience with life's little tragicomedies, and comes out smiling.
at 11/10/2004 03:13:00 PM