58.) Jenny Lewis with The Watson Twins - Rabbit Fur Coat (2006)
I had been nursing a pretty serious crush on Jenny Lewis since the first time I saw her in "The Wizard" oh about 100 years ago. Then she started Rilo Kiley and every indie rock boy in the world followed suit. Jenny Lewis just has it. That intangible thing that makes people fall in love with her. Granted, she's very attractive and that certainly has a lot to do with it, but it's more than her looks. She's just, she's just I don't know...she's just great.
I have stuck by Jenny through thick and thin as a fan of her band and as a solo artist (I happen to think Under the Blacklight is a tremendously underrated record and though not as smitten with Acid Tongue as I expected, I still managed to whittle it down to a pretty classic EP) but upon my first listen of Rabbit Fur Coat I, and many others, knew this was an artist that was sticking around no matter what.
I went to see Rilo Kiley on their More Adventurous tour and after they played "I Never" (a beautiful ballad that is a highlight of the band's output) an older guy turned to me and said "now why don't they just make a record of songs like that?" Well, they never made that record, but Jenny did and it's called Rabbit Fur Coat. Rabbit Fur Coat owes as much to blue eyed soul as it does country. It's a record of twists and turns and it was a truly star making turn for Jenny Lewis. The comparisons to early Linda Rondstadt are apt, but if you ask me Jenny's better.
Jenny's decision to employ backing vocals from the Watson Twins was a brilliant one and their contribution to the record cannot be overstated, as they make an already sparkling record shimmer. While Jenny's the star of the show, of course, it's refreshing to see her share billing with the Twins as they make Rabbit Fur Coat the classic I believe it is.
Posted by Pat Driscoll