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Under the Blacklight

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iTunes Review

Alt pop darlings Rilo Kiley move away from the rootsy leanings of 2004’s More Adventurous, and go straight for the dance floor on Under the Blacklight, the band’s debut for Warner Brothers.  Some long-time fans may cry “major label foul!” when they hear, for the first time, the polished, full-bodied pop sounds here, but an open mind rewards those who keep the faith. Singer/songwriter Jenny Lewis still charms with her sweet, sometimes plaintive voice, but this time around there are surprisingly deep hooks and dance beats galore. Lewis is a true chanteuse on “Silver Lining” and “Close Call,” with her supple vocals weaving in and out of languid guitars and nearly stealing the show from the gloriously infectious, radio-friendly arrangements. On the panting, undulant track “The Moneymaker,” guitars march along as if in a Modest Mouse song, and “Breakin’ Up” has an aggressive dance beat with ‘70s-styled back-up singers, and, yes, a cow bell. There are tracks that could easily have fit in on More Adventurous, but for something new, move on to Lewis’ soulful and tragic “15,” and to guitarist Blake Sennett’s track, “Dreamworld,” bopping along on a sea of bubbling guitar notes and the perfectly paired vocals of Sennett and Lewis, with the ubiquitous – though subtle – dance beat giving it substance.

Customer Reviews

Unexpected. But Amazing.

People have been dissing this album before it even was realeased...why? Because Jenny and the boys attempted somthing new...and we all saw their work in the first single, which you either love or hate. Nonetheless, it's stupid to disrespect a band whom tries to create somthing different and distinct in a mundane music world. And for all of you who said this album was going to be horrible...i bet you could never come up with half of the brillance this band has throughout their career! Basically folks, this is a solid realease from a band that obviously shows promise..not only that they will never turn out a bad album, but that they will continue to evolve, and never ever be the bland. Which should never ever be looked down upon... Key Tracks: Silver Lining, Breakin' Up, Close Call, and Dreamworld.

Into the pale moon.

As is the consensus of the other reviews, this album does NOT sound like Rilo Kiley's older material. What do I have to say to that? THANK GOD. One can only take so much pretentious folk-inspired indie pop for so long without getting severely bored. All of their other album's really failed to go anywhere, or to even differentiate each individual track. Of course, there were a few standouts here and there, but most of it could either be skipped or mistaken for one or more songs on the album. With that aside, this album still holds a lot to be desired. After track seven things go downhill fast and it's almost painful to listen to the remainder of the album. I will agree that the lyrics on the album are not overly poignant or deep, but at least it's not Jenny Lewis whining like she used to. I think the "upbeat" sound is a much-needed change for Rilo Kiley; it's a big step away from the desolate desert highway feeling their first two albums had, and the mish-mosh of "More Adventurous". I must agree again that "The Moneymaker" is not the band's best song, but it's not completely terrible either. "Smoke Detector" is probably one of the most ridiculously juvenile songs to ever ungracefully grace my ears, and paired with its preceeding track "15," all hope seems to be lost for Rilo Kiley to ever get their act together. The last two tracks are, in essence, crap, and don't even need to be discussed. Seasoned Rilo Kiley fans will most likely be disappointed (and by seasoned I mean have been heavily following Rilo Kiley and all of its members' side projects over the years). New fans, I recommened any song between tracks one through seven, but I will push the most for "Silver Lining," "Dreamworld," and most importantly the title track "Under the Blacklight."

I tried...

I tried to like this album on it's own terms. And it's ok, for when you want something upbeat and mellow without any real substance. But that is the last thing I would expect from Rilo Kiley or Jenny Lewis. Where are the lyrics? Emotions? It is so far from anything I would have anticipated from them. I am the biggest Jenny fan around and I hate to say it but this album is soul-less. I can only hope she does another solo album.


Formed: 1998 in Los Angeles, CA

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

Like their West Coast contemporaries in Death Cab for Cutie, Rilo Kiley steadily gained traction in indie pop circles throughout the late '90s and early 2000s before the record industry (and public at large) officially took note. Led by former child actors Jenny Lewis (vocals, guitar, keyboards) and Blake Sennett (guitar, vocals), the L.A.-based quartet held its first practice in 1998. Bassist Pierre de Reeder and drummer Dave Brock (later replaced by ex-Foundation Lassie member Jason Boesel) completed...
Full Bio
Under the Blacklight, Rilo Kiley
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