Where “Rabbit Fur Coat” starts out in a very Allison Krauss type of style for “Run Devil Run”, there seems to be an infusion of that style with something that is much more acceptable in alternative rock. At the end of the track, one really hears more of a fusion style that looks toward Bitch & Animal’s “Drag King Bar” more than anything. “The Big Guns” continues slightly in this style, but there is a much more present gospel influence to the track that really makes the song ready for the big time.
What is the beauty about a song like “The Big Guns” is that it is merely influenced by the genre, and does not rely on all the guideposts of gospel to make a sound (the chintzy synthesizers, for example). This stripped-down style is able to be placed part and parcel into Lewis’s style, subsumed into it perfectly. For the title track, Lewis moves into the realm of children’s songs to create a track with a very simplistic style that will resound loudly in listener’s heads well after the disc end. The fact that a guitar is the only instrumentation present on the track really shows Lewis’ skill in creating a harmony with only eir voice. This feat is only duplicated with “Melt Your Heart”, a track that retains the same instrumentation but bolsters Lewis’ vocals with those of the twins. The fury in which Lewis throws out vocals during “Rise Up With Fists!!” seems to draw on an earlier tradition, that of “Horses”-era Patti Smith, while the chorus tends to move towards a traditional American folk type of sound.
There seems to be a bouncy energy that is present through “You Are What You Love” that even goes beyond the martial drums present on the track to mesh well with the emotive synthesizers present. Coming forth with yet another catchy chorus, Jenny Lewis just sews up this album as an unblemished success even before the entirety of the disc spins to a close. Covering the Traveling Wilburys with eir “Handle With Care”, Lewis does a wonderful thing in coming through with eir own voice during the track while still allowing the folksy, hippie sound of the band to shine through. Even the presence of a member of Maroon 5 cannot drag this track down from the high position that it places itself. For genuine, fun, and catchy music pick up “Rabbit Fur Coat”.
Top Tracks: Run Devil Run, You Are What You Love
Jenny Lewis with The Watson Twins – Rabbit Fur Coat / 2006 Team Love / 12 Tracks / http://www.jennylewis.com / http://www.teamlove.com / Reviewed 02 February 2006