I am generally so out of the loop as far as album releases and tours — I never see anyone play or buy any record in a timely manner because I just never hear about things. In the case of Jenny Lewis’s latest solo album, Acid Tongue, I basically didn’t even know it was in the works. Let it be said, though, that as soon as I figured it out I purchased it with a quickness.
It’s gone in a different direction than Rilo Kiley’s last album, Under the Blacklight. While that one was very polished and conceptual, this one is a little more ragged (due to being mostly “recorded live”). Some of the songs, like the first track (Black Sand) are thinner in terms of instrumentation and production. On that one, Jenny sings with an airy sort of falsetto. The overall sound that results is not the polished pop or stylish folk/country I usually expect from her. In fact, I found (find?) that track a little off-putting. I generally prefer her sound when it’s richer and more complexly layered.
Other tracks, however, wormed their way into my emotional life after only a few bars. Soon enough, I found myself slumped on the couch in the dark, sniffling my way through the second half of the album and wondering if it was the musical greatness or just my impending Special Ladies’ Time that had me in such a mood.
That night I listened to the album a couple of times, and the next morning I woke up thinking that all I really wanted to do was stay in bed all day and listen to it over and over again — particularly the title track. That song gives me the goosebumps, I tell you. It’s the kind of music that makes me want to sing really loudly (in a room all alone, because no one should hear me singing that loudly), taking swigs from a bottle of whiskey and occasionally throwing a shoe against the wall. And that’s just the way I like it.
Here are two favorite tracks, the first for the goosebumps and the second for the surprise backing vocals (can you name that singer?):
P.S. I’ve just listened to these two tracks again to check that they uploaded properly, and I had to come back to say more forcefully: the title track, “Acid Tongue,” is fucking brilliant. Excuse me while I go put it on repeat and find some shoes to throw.