Song of the Day #3,939: ‘Wasted Youth’ – Jenny Lewis

We’re definitely in a golden era for female songwriters, whether because there are more of them releasing material or just more of them given the chance. By pure coincidence, the last several artists I’ve written about (all of whom have dominated my playlists) have been women: Maren Morris, Billie Eilish, Lana Del Rey, The Beths and now Jenny Lewis.

Lewis has released On the Line, her first album since 2014’s The Voyager, a record that featured my #1 song of that year and that I named my #2 album of the year and my #8 album of the 2010’s up to that point. That’s quite an act to follow!

Based on a few early listens, she’s come close to matching it. On the Line is full of the same smart songwriting and smooth sounds as its predecessor. Lewis’ voice is in fine form, channeling a 70s Carole King vibe. This album is a treat from start to finish.

Lewis has a host of big name collaborators performing on this record, though she has sole songwriting credit on all of its songs. Benmont Tench, Jim Keltner, Ringo Starr and Beck all show up, as does Ryan Adams (before he was dragged down by accusations of harassment). Lots of talent went into these songs, and it’s a testament to Lewis’ singular talent and vision that it sounds like her through and through.

Speaking of Beck, my experience with this album reminds me of how I reacted to two of his best works. When 2002’s Sea Change came out, I embraced that mellow masterpiece as one of the finest albums I’d ever heard, a gorgeous meditation on heartbreak. The 2014’s Morning Phase dropped, and I was surprised to realize I liked it just as much if not better than its predecessor, yet I was hesitant to rank it up there as an all-time great.

Was I overrating Sea Change? Underrating Morning Phase? I think the former just hit me in the right way at the right time, earning a spot on that master list as much for my reaction to it as its actual content.

Similarly, I was over the moon about The Voyager, and I find myself liking On the Line just as much on a song-by-song basis. Will this album ultimately resonate as much as the earlier release, or was there a certain alchemy in 2014 that made that one work so well?

Either way, there’s no denying Jenny Lewis is putting out the most interesting and enjoyable music of her career, and I’m happy to be along for the ride.

[Verse 1]
Sister, we’re slidin’ down a bong
I can’t tell you what I think you’re doing wrong
Stop your cryin’, our daddy’s gone
Do you remember when he used to sing us that little song?

[Chorus]
I wasted my youth on a poppy
Doo-doo, doo-doo, doo, just for fun
I wasted my youth on a poppy
Doo-doo, doo-doo, doo, just because

[Verse 2]
Why you lyin’? The bourbon’s gone
Mercury hasn’t been in retrograde for that long, oh no
Stop your hiding, drop that bomb
Do you remember when I used to sing you this little song?

[Chorus]
I wasted my youth on a poppy
Doo-doo, doo-doo, doo, just for fun
I wasted my youth on a poppy
Doo-doo, doo-doo, doo, just because
And everybody knows it’s a tightrope
The cookie crumbles into dust
And everybody knows we’re in trouble
Doo-doo, doo-doo, doo, candy crush

[Bridge]
Just ’cause you’re young
Don’t mean nothing, don’t mean nothing
We are here and we’re gon’
Do something, while your heart is thumping

[Chorus]
I wasted my youth on a poppy
Doo-doo, doo-doo, doo, just because
I wasted my youth on a poppy
Doo-doo, doo-doo, doo, just for fun
And everybody knows it’s a tightrope
The cookie crumbles into dust
And everybody knows we’re in trouble
Doo-doo, doo-doo, doo, candy crush

[Outro]
Wasted my youth
Wasted youth
Doo-doo, doo-doo, doo
Wasted youth
Doo-doo, doo-doo, doo
Wasted you
Doo-doo, doo-doo, doo

One thought on “Song of the Day #3,939: ‘Wasted Youth’ – Jenny Lewis

  1. Dana Gallup says:

    Yet another artist and album to which I need to listen.

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