Jenny Lewis with the Watson Twins

One’s 30th birthday is typically the staging ground for life crises and philosophical introspection, and Jenny Lewis’ own impending milestone has given birth to Rabbit Fur Coat, a quiet solo departure from the power pop of Lewis’ other band, Rilo Kiley. Backed by the literally named Watson Twins, Lewis abandons keyboards and thundering drums for three-part harmonies and barely-there guitar strumming. On songs such as “Run Devil Run” and “Happy,” Lewis explores the country twang that she’s only hinted at before, sounding more like the Carter Family than like the frontwoman responsible for making the f-word sound soul-stirring. Contrasting the restrained sound, the album’s seemingly personal lyrics include a doomed tale of Lewis’ child-actress days (complete with flawed, controlling mom) and the overarching theme of faith and God (often the lack of either). Though it never approaches preachiness, it’s a little more heady than the standard solo effort. But with a raucous cover of the Traveling Wilburys’ “Handle With Care,” complete with improvised f-bomb, Jenny Lewis makes the case that growing older doesn’t mean getting boring.

Categories: Music