Hi 81 / Lo 61
|Volume 68, Issue 46,
Wednesday, October 30, 2002
Arts & Entertainment
Rilo Kiley follows debut with well-executed CD
By Cara Sarelli
Newly famed Omaha-based indie-label Saddle Creek Records has done it again, adding sweet Rilo Kiley to its tall order of bands.
With Rilo Kiley's latest album, The Execution of All Things, the band executes its talent and charm for a catchy, unique sound.
The Los Angeles band includes Jenny Lewis (vocals), Blake Sennett (guitar), Poerre de Reeder (bass), who create traces of pop, country and rock through precision and distortion.
A second effort, the band's first full-length, 2001's Takeoffs and Landings, was released on Seattle-based Barsuk Records, home of indie-rock staple Death Cab for Cutie.
At first listen, the new album sounds upbeat, almost happy in a tender, poppy way.
A closer look at the lyrics tells a different story.
The serious sentiment is outlined with a Whitman-like air. The words tell stories with vivid images, almost like a beatnik would with frozen lakes, paint peeling off streets, rivers, streams, mountains, cliffs and more.
On "Spectacular Views" the band sings "In steep cliffs with rocks piled up mysteries of your passing luck/ Ages pass shells and bits of bone forming a new limestone to give things their turn/ There are no bad words for the coast today/ You never knew why you felt so good in the strangest of places."
But the band really hits home when the lyrics cut with dramatic honesty in parts, like in "Paint's Peeling:"
"It's a hard day for breathing again/ The heat is chasing off all of your friends and their scattered bodies part to the shore again/ And I feel nothing, not sane."
The album's 11 songs offer many levels of dynamics, intensity and musicality.
Some, such as "So Long," are for mellow, Sunday afternoon driving. Other times, like at the end of "My Slumbering Heart," the band rocks out.
When listening to the album, the question, "What does this remind me of?" comes to mind.
Sometimes the instinctive answer is the band Poe, but only in certain fleeting instances.
The band overall has its own sound, an obvious product of many influences.
The question is finally answered by a feeling that the album brings you what you have always wanted to hear but didn't know you were missing.
Rilo Kiley is on tour and will be making a stop in Houston at Mary Janes on Nov. 16, when it will open for New York's Rainer Maria (Polyvinyl Records). The show should be worth checking out.
For more information about Rilo Kiley, go to www.saddle-creek.com. At the site you may download the opening track "The Good That Won't Come Out" and the album's title track.
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