Jenny Lewis with The Watson Twins – Rabbit Fur Coat Review

Jenny Lewis and the Watson Twins

The Inside Pulse
Rilo Kiley frontwoman and Postal Service collaborator Jenny Lewis has released her first solo album on the Team Love label. With the Watson Twins providing harmony vocals throughout, Lewis crafts a rousing set of indie-bluegrass-stomp, an Americana version of the late night road trip mix tape.

The Positives
Lewis certainly gets her “O Brother” on on this one, and the standout track is easily her cover of the Traveling Wilbury’s classic “Handle With Care”. When reading the guests’ names on this track, you can predict who will come in when: Lewis takes George’s lead, Ben Gibbard does his best Orbison, and M Ward and Conor Oberet get chummy while handling the Dylan and Petty parts, respectively (interesting to note that Mr. “New Dylan” took the Petty part. A good move on his part). Lewis’ stylized vocals lend an authenticity to the music, which manages to stay just clear of “cute”.

The Negatives
1) No lyrics in the liner notes. You really want to read what this one’s singing.
2) A certain “sameness” creeps in about midway through. This would be considerably worse had it been an unbearable “sameness”, but I get the feeling this album serves as a genre exercise for this talented songwriter.

Somewhere in between Emmylou Harris’ work on “O Brother”, Dolly Parton, Rilo Kiley (of course) and Aimee Mann.

Reason to Buy
If you’re a fan of Rilo Kiley, Aimee Mann or any of Ben Gibbard’s works, you’ll love this lovely collection of indie-country.