This is my first music review, so I thought I’d go over some ground rules before I get started. I think I’m just going write what I thought of the album and then give a rating. For the rating I’ll use the five star scale, just because it’s seems to be the most straight forward. Five stars being the best one being the worst and half stars if necessary. Let me know if you have any suggestions on what I could do different. Here we go…
The first time I really experienced Jenny Lewis as a musician was seeing Rilo Kiley (Jenny’s band) open for Coldplay a few years ago. She had the kind of voice that could easily lend itself to the kind of country music since long forgotten. I didn’t instantly become a Rilo Kiley fan but I couldn’t forget that voice. Over time I began to follow her music pretty closely and after a wonderful debut solo album, Rabbit Fur Coat and Rilo Kiley releasing a very good album last year I was very excited for the release of Acid Tongue.
The biggest difference between Lewis’s first solo album and Acid Tongue is that Acid Tongue is significantly less polished and has more of country sound rather than a folky/indie sound. The album was mostly recorded live which gives it that more raw and gritty sound. Also it’s filled with dozens of collaborations. I could almost picture a bunch of musically talented friends with Lewis at the helm just sitting around late at night on stage at a bar and just jamming all night. The result is mix of country, gospel, classic rock, soul, and a touch of indie rock goodness all led up with Lewis’s signature voice. Lyrically it seems less personal than Rabbit Fur Coat and yet tales of hard lives still remain. I wouldn’t say there is a weak song on this album but stand out tracks include the epic The Next Messiah, the title track which perfectly displays Lewis’ pop sensibility, the gorgeous Godspeed, Carpetbaggers feat. the great Elvis Costello and the quarky gospel tinged Jack Killed Mom.
If you’ve enjoyed any of Jenny Lewis’s past work I’d highly recommend this album, it’s possibly one of her best works to date. If you’re new to the world of Jenny Lewis and you wished somebody out there was actually making good country music, then you need to check out Acid Tongue.
I give this album 4 1/2 stars.