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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Jeff Lewis is cracked!, 16 Aug 2003
This review is from: It's the Ones Who've Cracked That The Light Shines Through (Audio CD)
I saw Jeff Lewis this past Monday night and was completely blown away, so I ran the very next day to purchase his album, despite the fact that I was completely broke.
This album is a work of pure genious. While Lewis may not have the greatest voice, or the most fabulous guitar skills, his lyrics make this album one of the greatest I've heard in years.
The standout tracks include "Don't Let the Record Label Take You Out to Lunch", a song that includes such fabulous one-liners as "Though the fishes look delicious someone's gotta do the dishes." But the song contains a deeper message, one that seems to be convayed throughout the entire album- "I'll hold off on the hor devours, that's not what I'm in it for, I only want what I deserve, I want no less I want no more."
The following song, "Gold", made me cry the first time I heard it. Sung in such an informal manner, you can hear every emotional swallow, and at one point Jeff's voice even cracks. Tightly packed with lyrics and with slight fluctuations in the melody, the melodic guitar in the background is just enough to make the track a song, rather than a deepfelt poem.
"Sea Song" is great lyrically, but it's the guitar and background noises that have me falling asleep when I hear this song.
"I Saw A Hippy Girl on 8th Avenue" has a great message, that it's what's on the inside that counts, and seems to portray Jeff Lewis as a really down-to-earth guy, the kind you'd love to be friends with. And it's this raw charm that permeates the entire album, and makes it seem as if Lewis is not singing,but rather, commiserating with an old friend. Lewis makes it personal, and that, combined with the fact that it's a musically genious album, is what makes it terrific and worth all the gold in the world.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars More of the same, pleasingly, 18 July 2003
This review is from: It's the Ones Who've Cracked That The Light Shines Through (Audio CD)
The trouble with seemingly 'confessional' singer songwriters like Lewis is that they are often spoiled by any success that their talent brings them. Lewis himself seems aware of the pitfalls on 'Don't let the record label take you out to lunch', singing "& don't let showmanship get more important than honesty'. He has thankfully managed to keep his authenticity intact after the small word of mouth success of 'The Last Time I took Acid I went insane', and there is more of the same Lo-Fi whimsy and tiny truths on offer here.
Some of the songs are already familiar; the single 'Back when I was 4', and the album closer 'You don't have to be a scientist to do experiments on your own heart' from 'Anti-Folk volume 1'. Anyone who has seen Lewis play on these shores in the last year and a half might recognise 'Gold' and 'If you shoot the head you kill the ghoul'. The production on this record is slightly better than his debut (relatively speaking), but it is an album just as likeable and sweetly honest if not quite as comic.
A small triumph for the cracked.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Jeff Lewis is cracked!, 16 Aug 2003
This review is from: It's the Ones Who've Cracked That The Light Shines Through (Audio CD)
I saw Jeff Lewis this past Monday night and was completely blown away, so I ran the very next day to purchase his album, despite the fact that I was completely broke.
This album is a work of pure genious. While Lewis may not have the greatest voice, or the most fabulous guitar skills, his lyrics make this album one of the greatest I've heard in years.
The standout tracks include "Don't Let the Record Label Take You Out to Lunch", a song that includes such fabulous one-liners as "Though the fishes look delicious someone's gotta do the dishes." But the song contains a deeper message, one that seems to be convayed throughout the entire album- "I'll hold off on the hor devours, that's not what I'm in it for, I only want what I deserve, I want no less I want no more."
The following song, "Gold", made me cry the first time I heard it. Sung in such an informal manner, you can hear every emotional swallow, and at one point Jeff's voice even cracks. Tightly packed with lyrics and with slight fluctuations in the melody, the melodic guitar in the background is just enough to make the track a song, rather than a deepfelt poem.
"Sea Song" is great lyrically, but it's the guitar and background noises that have me falling asleep when I hear this song.
"I Saw A Hippy Girl on 8th Avenue" has a great message, that it's what's on the inside that counts, and seems to portray Jeff Lewis as a really down-to-earth guy, the kind you'd love to be friends with. And it's this raw charm that permeates the entire album, and makes it seem as if Lewis is not singing,but rather, commiserating with an old friend. Lewis makes it personal, and that, combined with the fact that it's a musically genious album, is what makes it terrific and worth its weight in gold.
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4.0 out of 5 stars It's the Ones Who've Cracked That The Light Shines Through, 8 Jan 2010
By 
Spider Monkey (UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: It's the Ones Who've Cracked That The Light Shines Through (Audio CD)
`It's the Ones Who've Cracked That The Light Shines Through' is an exceptional album from Jeffrey Lewis that offers up unique song writing and original lyrics. This is most definitely lo-fi in every best sense of the word and gives us an album with wit and charm and yet with raw, pared back production. I first heard Jeffrey Lewis on a radio show talking about his comic books and the music was almost incidental and then when I heard him play at the end of the show I just knew I had to track some his music down and I am glad I did. This has a small comic strip inside the case as well so you get the best of both worlds! If you know and like The Mouldy Peaches then you will have a fair idea of what this will be like as they are very similar and just as quirky. I love `If You Shot The Ghoul In The Head' about killing zombies and `You Don't Have To Be A Scientist To Do Experiments On Your Own Heart' has great lyrics to end the album on perfectly. I especially love the line `My halo's got a hole in it so it don't keep me dry, but it's ok cuz my brain is my hearts umbrella', genius. If you like original music with a slightly kooky, off beat nature then this will be right up your street and this is one of those albums that keeps getting better the more you listen to it. Well worth a try.

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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Strange, Magical Tales Of A New York City Nerd, 4 Dec 2003
By 
D. Carter "dunnyphat" (UK) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: It's the Ones Who've Cracked That The Light Shines Through (Audio CD)
The first thing that strikes you about this album is that Jeffrey Lewis is an unbelievably good wordsmith. He has so many good ideas he occassionally struggles to fit them all into his songs. Secondly, on 'It's The One's Who've Cracked...' he shows that he is one of the best lo-fi artists currently recording. This album is up there with great lo-fi albums like 'One Foot In The Grave' by Beck, 'Garfield' by Adam Green, and stuff by Smog, Devendra Banhart and Will Oldham. If you like simply recorded acoustic albums with humour, style and intelligence, this album is a must buy. Some of the lyrics are the best I've heard for a long time... "Back when I was six I took everything real serious and I thought that every song that came on the radio was referring to strange sexual acts because they thought I wouldn't know the facts". A great talent.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Jeffrey Lewis is god, 17 Nov 2003
This review is from: It's the Ones Who've Cracked That The Light Shines Through (Audio CD)
I have to give it 5 stars because this is a fantastic album. This is his second and most recent album to date.
Well I think if you liked the stuff on his first album then you should definately buy this, although I think this is more calm than his first, as there are less loud songs (er obviously). I guess the quieter ones include Alphabet, Gold (fantastic), Sea Song (a sort of second album equivilant to "SpringTime"), and "You Don't Have to Be a Scientist to Do Experiments on Your Own Heart" (a nice album closer). They're all catchy, my favourite is probably Gold, which is a lovely example of his characteristically specific(yet different)lyrics.
I think Graveyard is one of my favourtie tracks on the album, it is just great, and If You Shoot the Head You Kill the Ghoul is a really fun take on zombies attacking the earth (in the style of black-and-white horror movies). "No LSD Tonight" is excellant in his attempt to correct people on the (incorrect) belief that he likes doing acid (after his first album's title song was about a certain experience with the drug).
If you like stuff that's a original and a bit quirky then I think you will enjoy this, and his first album. The lyrics are really the main focus I think, but the tunes are catchy and supportive and it all works very well together. This album sounds a little less home-edited, but there is no loss of character or feel to his live style.
Very very cool,
he is Great!
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Revision., 14 Nov 2003
This review is from: It's the Ones Who've Cracked That The Light Shines Through (Audio CD)
I wrote this a while ago...
"While Lewis may not have the greatest voice, or the most fabulous guitar skills, his lyrics make this album one of the greatest I've heard in years."
After you've listened to an album so much, you realize new things about it. And here's what I've realized, after months of listening, about this album:
1-Jeff Lewis really DOES have a nice voice,and not in a conventional way, which is probably what makes him so good. It's nice and raw and is what gives his songs an edge, and makes him stand apart from all the other antifolk singer/songwriters out there.
2-Since his brother Jack also plays guitar on the album, I'm not sure which parts Jeff is playing and which parts Jack is. But the guitar really is fabulous, especially on You Don't Have to be a Scientist, Don't Let the Record Lable Take You Out to Lunch, and Sea Song. Guitar playing doesn't have to be complex and technical for it to sound wonderful.
That's all.
Except why are there no more reviews for this album!?
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4.0 out of 5 stars magyarorszag-stevo68, 14 Jan 2010
By 
Mr. Sr Toth (Burnhope, county durham,england) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: It's the Ones Who've Cracked That The Light Shines Through (Audio CD)
A broad range of acoustic anti-folk/punk/new wave from an excellent lyrcist and cartoon drawer. I've seen Jeffrey lewis live and he played three of the songs from this album , which prompted the purchase.
the 3rd track 'no lsd tonight' is possibly my favourite but all the tracks are worth a listen . Play this album a few times and you'll slowly want to listen , again and again.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Lovely stuff from the master of anti-folk..., 1 Jun 2011
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This review is from: It's the Ones Who've Cracked That The Light Shines Through (Audio CD)
The anti-folk, lo-fi troubadour hits his stride with this fantastic album, his most consistently brilliant record. Jeff manages to balance heartache and humour with his lo-fi sensibilities perfectly over the course of these 13 charming songs. 'Back When I Was 4' shows Jeff's abilities as a wordsmith as well as his deceptively simple approach to music while 'If You Shoot The Head You Kill The Ghoul' and 'No LSD Tonight' are shouty, lo-fi singalongs. Jeff's thoughtful, informed, witty and ridiculously talented- if you haven't heard him before than this is the perfect starting point. A subtle, ramshackle and at times mind-expandingly excellent listen. Jeff is the lo-fi indie generations Bob Dylan...

Melancholic folk-tinged music for indie kids who like bands like Art Brut, Comet Gain, The Moldy Peaches and The Cribs...
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