17 December 2007

"I don't wanna fuss and fight no more." -- THE SONG-OTY ON A PISS POOR ALBUM

#1 "Silver Lining" by Rilo Kiley
If people listened to albums the way they used to -- by wrestling with plastic wrap for 4-and-a-half minutes before prying the disc out, popping it into a car stereo and leafing through the CD booklet while the first sounds ring -- I would've thought Rilo Kiley's Under the Blacklight was the Album of the Year for exactly 3 minutes and 36 seconds. Now, of course, this isn't how things work anymore so by the time I heard "Silver Lining" I had already suffered through the overlong, oversexed, mini-movie for first single "The Moneymaker." Expectations instantly lowered.

Somewhere deep down I still hoped the faux-'70s slutty romp guitar cheese of "The Moneymaker" stuck out on the album like a sore single but RK really fucking like Fleetwood Mac (guys, just cover "Dreams'). Problem is, where Stevie Nicks was allegedly so coked up that she had a personal assistant to administer her drugs through other means because her nose was so royally fried, (" Some of y'all nose hairs is burnt.") Jenny Lewis remains too damn wholesome (see below). Point being, the whole album feels fake. Contrived, pre-packaged, cheap.
But whereas the stretch of Blacklight beginning with "Dejalo" (the worst Spanish I've ever heard) and pretty much continuing through the album's final track make me want to either die/kill/listen to "'97 Bonnie and Clyde" to release some rage vicariously (with "15" and "Smoke Detector" as the most egregious offenders), "Silver Lining" is absolutely perfect pop music. The elementary boom-clap-boom-clap beat feels full and exciting and the long ringing three-chord piano base resonates beautifully. The sing-songy guitar riff is dreamy but not gaudy, working melodically in a similar style to the one in the third verse of "It's a Hit" -- the first track on the band's last album More Adventurous. Lewis, though, is the highlight (do we still say "duh"?) and sounds confident, affectionate and flat-out in control. The harmonies in the hook are gigantic, full-bodied and classic. The entire chorus just shimmers. Solely because of this song I feel better about Rilo Kiley's future in music than I did before Blacklight even though I think that collectively it's an awful collection of casual trash.
I said what amounts to the same thing when I reviewed the band's New York City show in September:

But the radiant 'Silver Lining' -- Blacklight's shining beacon -- in a spirited and harmonious rendering, glistened with the hope that Rilo Kiley's song-writing, along with their performance and professionalism, is still on the rise. With their crisp live show as an indicator, if not with Under the Blacklight, someday soon they'll have the hits they covet.

You can READ THE REST of the review, too, if you please.

Oh, and the video for the song is great as well. Blake Sennet is scary short. After the jump.

Rilo Kiley Silver Lining

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

^^ nice blog!! ^@^

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