26: Rabbit Fur Coat (Jenny Lewis and The Watson Twins)

Album: Rabbit Fur Coat
Artist: Jenny Lewis and The Watson Twins
Year: 2006

1. Run Devil Run
2. The Big Guns
3. Rise Up with Fists!!
4. Happy
5. The Charging Sky
6. Melt Your Heart
7. You Are What You Love
8. Rabbit Fur Coat
9. Handle with Care
10. Born Secular
11. It Wasn’t Me
12. Happy (Reprise)

Jenny Lewis is more famous for Rilo Kiley and for starring in The Wizard, but has ventured out into solo work as well. While I’m not a big fan of her second solo album, Acid Tongue, where she invited a bunch of guest musicians to play along with her, I’m a huge fan of her collaboration with The Watson Twins.  There’s a pretty significant “finding religion” theme throughout, and it feels more like a manufactured theme than any genuine transformation for Lewis, but either way, it works for me.

The Watson Twins are an excellent complement to Jenny’s voice, especially on Rise Up with Fists!! and The Charging Sky, two fantastic songs. And for the most part, the lyrics tell pretty good stories. Melt Your Heart and You Are What You Love are a testament to her writing. Unfortunately, the album slides a bit after the latter. The title song, while a pretty painful story about a upper middle-class girl with a shitty mother, has a repetitive rhythm that sounds like a children’s song, and I don’t think it matches the lyrics. The rest of the songs are fine, but don’t stand out for me and I don’t feel motivated to finish the album.

But if you like Rilo Kiley, you have to give this album a listen.

4 thoughts on “26: Rabbit Fur Coat (Jenny Lewis and The Watson Twins)”

  1. This is truly a fantastic album, although I’m biased as a uber Rilo Kiley fan and ardent atheist. The only songs I don’t like on the album are the opening “Run Devil Run” which is dull, and the cover of “Handle with Care”. All you choices are stellar songs, but I have to give additional love to “The Big Guns,” “Born Secular,” and “It Wasn’t Me.”

    See the official video for “Rise Up With Fists!!” here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c-DZJo_Xyh8

    1. I agree on Handle with Care. My least favorite. Run Devil Run is at least first, where it fits as it is short and introduces the album’s theme.

  2. Jenny Lewis is more famous for Rilo Kiley and for starring in The Wizard

    I highly doubt that she’s remembered more for The Wizard than she is for this album. I’m guessing that very few people who saw that movie can picture her, let alone remember who was playing the role.

    I saw Rilo Kiley in concert at Austin City Limits, and Lewis’s voice was awful. It has always bugged me senseless to know that they are loved by people I respect and that she apparently typically gives great live performances, because I realized that I must have missed out on someone great because she was sick that day, or something, which is what had her so off-key. It was also 120 degrees, so maybe she just didn’t have the energy to care.

    I also only saw the tail-end of her performance, so perhaps she got sluggish as her hour passed.

    1. my Dad saw Gordon Lightfoot when he was about 120 years old, could barely play the guitar anymore, and was frequently dropping things on stage, in addition to being off-key. He said on one hand it was sad to watch, but on the other, hey the guy is 120 years old and is still getting paid to do what he loves.

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