As lead singer with American cult heroes Rilo Kiley, Jenny Lewis never really enjoyed the mainstream success she and the band deserved.
It’s both a shame and a mystery, as the band’s sound was not a million miles away from the melodic indie rock with which other inferior bands had cracked the charts in the 1990s.
Now, four years after her last record, she’s back and, if there’s any justice in the world, The Voyager will earn her the commercial success to match her stack of critical plaudits.
Newcomers may see her as Haim’s big sister, and fans of the trio may well find it fills the time waiting for their second album admirably.
Fact is, they’re both using the same well of inspiration – prime 1970s Fleetwood Mac – and Lewis expands her palette here far more than the Haim sisters.
The overall sound is mainstream and alternative at the same time, like all the best crossover successes, from Elvis and The Beatles to Nirvana.
The ace in Lewis’ pack, though, is her lyrics. Caustic and clever, she covers depression (Head Underwater’s FM rock deals with the consequences of her father’s death), female infertility (highlight Just One of the Guys) and lost love (She’s Not Me) with equal candour and canniness.
Like this? Try these: Rilo Kiley, More Adventurous; Belly, Star
By Andrew Greenhalgh