Thursday, February 10, 2011

Jenny and Johnny: I'm Having Fun Now

Some of you might know Jenny Lewis as part of Rilo Kiley, The Postal Service, or from her own solo albums. Now she has added another act to her growing resume, a folk rock duo with her current boy friend, John Rice. According to their website, the first album was written mainly while on tour and was originally supposed to be just a few demos but the creativity flowed like a waterfall and a full album just came out.

I have to be honest, I love Jenny Lewis but the first time I listened to I'm Having Fun Now I wasn't sure what to think. Many times I listen to an album and it takes me a few times to get into it. Usually I'll focus on a favorite song or two and then expand from there. This was definitely one of those records for me, but after 3 or 4 listens I almost immediately fell in love and for the past month this has been a constant in the CD player in my car. I still really don't like track 5, but other than that, every song is a great pop tune worth of singing along (which I often do as I drive around...and I think the Californians think I'm crazy).

The songs are full of satire and humor (which you would expect from Jenny Lewis at this point--think of her as indie rock's Lily Allen). In the past Jenny has taken shots at politics, materialism, and love and she continues to do that. And the melodies play just like the lyrics. Bouncy, fun, with a bit of nostalgia in the mix.

The key to this album is that it's stripped down and it's real. Jenny and Johnny's voices blend really well together in their harmonies. You can hear all the instruments and the effects serve purpose. It's the way music used to be, before it became over produced and flashy. Folk, rock, pop, and maybe a bit of country. There's a little bit of everything for everyone. It's definitely worth a listen, and while I've never seen them live I've heard the show is amazing too.

Standout Tracks: Switchblade and Big Wave

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