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Aural Pleasure Review: Jenny Lewis’ ‘The Voyager’

July 29, 2014

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 Jenny Lewis | The Voyager | Warner Bros | ****

Jenny Lewis’ latest improves mightily upon 2008’s limp Acid Tongue, combining some of that album’s ’70’s guitar-rock pomp with the easygoing (but dead serious) twang of 2006’s Rabbit Fur Coat. Situated between Fleetwood Mac, Elvis Costello and Lewis’ most polished, but least interesting work with Rilo Kiley, the songs on the Ryan Adams-produced The Voyager hit something of a sweet spot; both for Lewis’ jaded, countrified voice and her dark, sharp-witted lyrics.

In a recent NPR interview, Lewis confessed that the album contains some of her most autobiographical lyrics, which find her dealing with the death of her father, her sleeping troubles, the end of Rilo Kiley and the pressure to start a family and settle down. That said, Lewis subverts what you might expect from a soul-baring album full of insomnia, sadness and searching, couching her ruminations in a breezy sound with an almost flippant attitude.