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The Execution of All Things

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Album Review

Are they an indie rock band inspired by country, or a country band influenced by indie rock? Whichever the case may be, The Execution of All Things finds Rilo Kiley establishing a wonderful balance of beautiful indie rock and subtle country. Several guests are on such instruments as French horn, cello, flute, and accordion, while there's also a "boy choir" that includes Conor Oberst of Bright Eyes. It all adds brilliantly to Rilo Kiley's passionate and powerful songwriting. "With Arms Outstretched" evokes a country feel in its lyrics, yet has all the sensibility of indie pop. "It's 16 miles to the promised land and I promise you I'm doing the best I can," Jenny Lewis sings. "I visit these mountains with frequency and I stand here with my arms up." You may want to watch out for the unexpected, though infrequent, foul language, but otherwise this strong follow-up to Take-Offs & Landings fits right in with the already respected Saddle Creek roster.

Customer Reviews

Man oh man, when will I be able to listen to any CD besides this??!?!?!

I got More Adventurous first...made myself listen to it until I was sure I couldn't go another day w/o another RK CD, then coughed up for Execution of All Things. At first, didn't like it as much. By at first I mean, the first listen only. Since then, creeping toward a month now, I CANNOT LISTEN TO ANYTHING ELSE!!!! I will try every day or so to put another CD in my car's player, but can't get through a song and a half before I start thinking of a song on "Execution" and hit eject, switching back to it...I can't explain what it is that is so addictive about it, because it snuck up on me. All I can say is if you don't like it on first listen, give it a day and listen again. You probably won't HAVE to give it a day--can almost guarantee that you will be surprised that you cannot wait to hear it again. I cannot, cannot understand why RK isn't considered the most insanely great band currently creating totally original music. Could I BE more gushy??? I'm passionate about them, what can I say. If I get one person to take the risk and buy this CD, and they get as much pleasure from it as me, then I will have done a good deed.

Time to start drinking the Kool Aid...

With the growing success Jenny and the boys are receiving for "More Adventurous" "The Execution..." should serve as an eye-opening back catalog item showing new listeners how surprisingly well rounded and soulfully sonic Rilo Kiley is. Tracks such as "With Arms Outstretched" will quickly appear on your road trip playlist and when Jenny drops the "unexpected" F-bomb in “Spectacular views” it is filled with an emotion that is maddeningly hard to categorize yet clearly justified and incomparable to the careless usage most often seen in contemporary music.

More than a sum of its parts

This is one of those rare albums that's best to listen to in its entirety, rather than a few songs at a time, because it flows so well from one song to the next and forms a beautifully coherent whole. It's a great document of what it feels like to be a twentysomething, still figuring out life, relationships, and the future. It was the only time I've ever heard an album and thought, "Wow, if I were a songwriter, these are the songs I'd be trying to write at this point in my life." I love all RK's music, but this is the one that feels to me most like a great *album* rather than just a collection of great songs.


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...
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The Execution of All Things, Rilo Kiley
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