Best Albums of the 2010s – #16
The Voyager – Jenny Lewis (2014)
Whether it’s because my own tastes have shifted, or because the cultural landscape has become more inclusive, my list of favorite 2010s albums is dominated by women. Thirteen of the top 20 and seven of the top 10 titles are by female artists.
Jenny Lewis emerged as a favorite in this decade, after being on my radar tangentially in the prior one. The sound and perspective of her 2014 album The Voyager feel completely fresh, even as the record hearkens back to folk rock and pop sounds of the 70s.
As I approach my year-end lists of the best songs, albums, movies and TV shows of 2015, it’s appropriate that today’s Random iTunes Selection comes from one of my favorite albums of 2014.
Jenny Lewis’ The Voyager was second only to Miranda Lambert’s Platinum on last year’s album list, and her song ‘Late Bloomer’ topped my list of the best songs of 2015.
Best Songs of 2014 – #1
‘Late Bloomer’ – Jenny Lewis
I knew Jenny Lewis’ ‘Late Bloomer’ was the best song of 2014 before I’d even finished listening to it the first time.
It’s rare that I “get” a song after just one listen (let alone half of one) but this elegant snapshot of a young woman’s coming of age struck a nerve instantly.
Best Albums of the 10s So Far
#8 – Jenny Lewis – The Voyager
Jenny Lewis has taken a couple of stabs at greatness over the eight years of her solo career.
2008’s Rabbit Fur Coat is a folk rock pleasure, charming if ultimately forgettable. Acid Tongue, released in 2008, was a more ambitious effort, dabbling in blues rock and featuring a duet with frequent collaborator Elvis Costello. But it, too, had trouble sticking.
When I ordered those four new albums a week ago, I didn’t expect my runaway favorite to be Jenny Lewis’ The Voyager.
Don’t get me wrong, I like Jenny Lewis. Her first two solo albums, Rabbit-Fur Coat and Acid Tongue, are sharp, melodic and ambitious. But neither really grabbed me and shook me the way this latest record has.