17: More Adventurous (Rilo Kiley)

Album: More Adventurous
Artist: Rilo Kiley
Year: 2004

1. It’s a Hit
2. Does He Love You?
3. Portions for Foxes
4. Ripchord
5. I Never
6. The Absence of God
7. Accidntel Deth
8. More Adventurous
9. Love and War
10. A Man/Me/Then Jim
11. It Just Is

Rilo Kiley gained some popularity after this album though it was several years before I noticed. It received critical acclaim as well, with one publication naming this the fifth best album of 2004 and another naming It’s a Hit the best song of the decade. As you can see, I love It’s a Hit, but for me it’s not even the best song on the album, though perhaps I would place it second. It’s some of Lewis’s best writing, a great take on criticizing authority figures and the music industry.

Does He Love You? took me a while to warm up to, but I’m more impressed with it upon each listen. While fairly straightforward about adultery, the desperation in Lewis’s voice is palpable and the music fits the mood perfectly. Then we get their biggest hit probably ever, Portions for Foxes. I could sing “Baby I’m bad news!” over and over again.

Ripchord is sung by Blake Sennett. It’s fine, but I’ve never cared for Blake’s voice though he obviously knows how to make good music. I Never is the only true dud for me. While I don’t mind Lewis singing “I Never” 20 times in a row once, hearing the chorus three times really overwhelms me.

The Absence of God is my third favorite song by the band; Lewis has an amazing ability to go from low to high near effortlessly. Accidntel Deth, in addition to having an obnoxious title, is pretty underwhelming musically.

The album then turns it on again with the title track.  Love and War is okay, then we have one of the saddest songs ever in A Man/Me/Then Jim, about a suicide and told in what I think is in reverse order from three different people.  It Just Is is a pretty decent ending, a short song with not much meat but a really pleasant melody.

5 thoughts on “17: More Adventurous (Rilo Kiley)”

  1. Nothing but love for this album. The Absence of God is probably my favorite, followed by More Adventurous and It’s a Hit. A Man/Me/Then Jim isn’t my favorite track, but it’s probably the most layered song by RK. After listening to it several times you discover that all of the people know each other in some way.

  2. Finishing this up now. Turns out that you, millions of fans, the near entirety of the WGOM and every music critic I’ve run into are correct.

      1. Give me a couple more listens to let that question percolate; I always listen to albums as albums, and specific songs don’t step forward for a few more listens.

        Don’t hate me, but my favorite song on first listen may have been “I Never.” Or maybe “A Man/Me/Then Jim.” A lot was going on during my listen though, so a lot kind of ran together.

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