3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Forget the moaners, this is a terrific pop album,
This review is from: Under The Blacklight (Audio CD)
The new Rilo Kiley album seems to have raised a lot of hackles .Many are claiming that it's a backward step from More Adventurous and that Jenny Lewis is not the singer she was. Firstly I would agree that Under the Backlight does not suggest that the band have progressed much from their last album , indeed taken in some terms it's actually a step backward but that ignores the fact that the band have set out to make a more commercially viable pop album ( I admit that's an assumption on my part but given the album I would suggest it's a fair one)and to that extent they have admirably succeeded . Secondly Lewis sings like an angel working overtime on this album as far my ears can tell .I am completely baffled as to why people are suggesting otherwise. Ignore them is my advice , their ear drums have clearly been removed and replaced with discarded ring pulls.
So what we have is a pop album , and a very fine one at that. First track "Silver Lining " has an opening guitar motif that sounds uncannily like George Harrisons "My Sweet Lord" but turns out to be svelte glorious little pop song. Indeed the whole album turns out to be full of svelte glorious pop songs. There are guitars which means it will bracketed as indie or rock but I repeat these are pop songs with swoonsome verses and choruses that float like massive silver balloons in a violet sky populated by spangled jet streams. "Close Call" , "The Moneymaker", the title track all are superbly arranged with tunes that glide like a greased duck on an iced up pond.
"Dreamworld" is sung by Blake.It,s a good song but his limited vocals only make you pine for Jenny to come back .Happily this is the case on the creamily lovely "The Angels Hung Around" .The album isn't perfect mind . "Dejalo" is tired and boring and I just cannot get my head around "Smoke Detector" though I suspect others will love it. "Give A Little Love " , the albums closer is just a pure pop gem , with syncopated claps, cheerily twinkling keyboards and a huskier vocal. Its call for universal spreading of love ( As The Beatles said "the Love you take , is equal to the love you make") is hard to argue with however trite.
Those expecting this band to progress into some sumptuous kaleidoscope world of pop nirvana will be disappointed with Under The Backlight, and compared to More Adventurous this is a more conservative album , lacking the rich sonic palette that album wrought .Curiously if I had been told before hand about this album I would have perhaps have been wary but listening to it without preconceptions I think its terrific. Some great songs , beautifully sung (listen to the title track people) and a general air of dulcet bonhomie .Whats not to like?