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Rilo Kiley
MORE ADVENTUROUS
(BRUTE/BEAUTE)

The LA indie-pop band Rilo Kiley went to Saddle Creek finishing school for 2002ís The Execution of All Things and emerged with a new-found ability to write anthems with chiming bells, soaring guitars, and Jenny Lewisís sweet alto proclaiming, "Sometimes when youíre on, youíre really fucking on!" After some side projects where songwriter/guitarist Blake Sennett fronted the Elected and Lewis provided back-up for the Postal Serviceís Give Up (Sub Pop), Rilo Kiley are back with More Adventurous, whose polished production showcases Lewisís powerful voice and her smart lyrics. The band choke on a couple of protest-oriented songs, and though good intentions may prevail in "Itís a Hit," "Ripchord," and "It Just Is," they never quite transcend the music. The attempt at classic doo-wop ("I Never") is another major stumbling block. But the duoís songwriting talents save "Portions for Foxes," a catchy Gen-Y relationship anthem, and the twangy title track, which has a touching vocal by Lewis. The album peaks with "Does He Love You" and "A Man/Me/Then Jim," two pretty songs with shifting, intricate narratives swathed in surf guitar and bongo beats. When the strings kick in on the former and Lewis cries, "I am flawed if Iím not free," you get the sense that Rilo Kiley have more than just a few convincing tricks up their collective sleeve.

By Elisabeth Donnelly


Issue Date: December 3 - 9, 2004
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