Jenny Lewis – Acid Tongue.

I don’t get it. I’m never going to get it. I’ve read all the praises that have been heaped on Jenny Lewis in all her many flavors. I would probably never write a Jenny Lewis post, but that Acacid-tongue1id Tongue contains my most-hated-song-of-the-moment: Black Sand. Holy crap! I nearly stopped listening less than 60 seconds into it. I had to poke around on-line to be sure I wasn’t listening to the wrong CD. Nope. Right CD.

Who let this girl open the album with this song? If she had a producer, she needs to fire him. If she produced it herself, she needs to hire one. This is a karaoke version of a Xanadu-era Olivia Newton-John song. It pains me to even think about it. A minute and a half in and I feel as though I’ve been scraping my face through the Black Sands. I can’t believe that I managed to listen to the next song and make my way through the whole album. I’m happy to report that nothing on the rest of the album sucks as bad as Black Sand. Pretty Bird is marginally better and gets a boost from M. Ward on guitar. By the time I get to The Next Messiah I think I might be starting to get the whole Jenny Lewis obsession. A song with a nice swamp boogie a-la ZZ Top, with a nice groove until the chorus hits…. Aaargh!! Here comes Olivia Newton-John again, only this time from Grease. The sounds of a horrendous Broadway musical. It comes back over and over again too; the hokey musical feel. One time I think I’m hearing something from Grease, the next time I’m sure it’s Jesus Christ Superstar. The time after that I have no idea which musical, but I know I hate it. 

Beyond the most-hated-song-of-the-moment, the thing that shocks me most about this album is its couple moments of brilliance. If I could strip out the middle of this album I might be the newest Jenny Lewis fan. Acid Tongue and See Fernando are great songs. Remind me of vintage Dolly Parton (in a good way). And Carpetbaggers; I don’t know what to say. I fell in love with it during the first verse. An amazing, old fashion country ballad. A pair of old jeans that Emmylou Harris would be comfortable in. And then; BOOM. In drops Elvis Costello and it’s suddenly the best Elvis Costello song in years. How can my most-hated-song-of-the-moment and my new-favorite-song-of-the-moment be on the same album? I have no idea. It gives me a headache to think about it.

My recommendation… iTunes. Grab the couple of good songs. If you’re a sucker for punishment find somewhere to stream Black Sand on-line. See how long you last. Tell me if you agree.


~ by spinthis45 on January 22, 2009.

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