I really can’t find a thing wrong with either of Jenny Lewis’ solo albums, but there’s not enough right with them to place them among my favorites. She writes and sings beautifully but her albums don’t have that special something that has me reaching for the repeat button when they finish.
That said, Acid Tongue is a step up from 2006’s Rabbit Fur Coat and features several tracks that I do see myself returning to in the future. One of those is ‘Carpetbaggers,’ a country jam duet with Elvis Costello — his second such appearance this year, following ‘Jailhouse Tears’ with Lucinda Williams.
Costello has become Lewis’ biggest fan, inviting her to sing on his hastily-recorded Momofuku album after their Acid Tongue session and lavishing praise on her in magazine and TV interviews. Considering Lewis is quite an attractive and sexy woman, I think Diana Krall should be worried. He does have a history.
Another standout track is ‘The Next Messiah,’ an 8-minute Southern gothic blues jam with three distinct movements… it’s the music you want playing when you take up serpents at the Pentecostal church. Many of these songs have that old-time religious feel, and in a good way.
The truth is I’m sort of guilty that an album this interesting and well-crafted doesn’t quite grab me… as if it’s a failure of mine rather than the record’s. I suppose it’s neither; it’s just the way things work sometimes.
Here are a couple of tracks:
The Next Messiah