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click to enlarge Jenny Lewis with The Watson Twins   Rabbit Fur Coat   -   Team Love   Jenny Lewis, the child actor (Troop - Beverly Hills) turned indie sweetheart (Rilo Kiley, - The Postal Service) has put together a top-notch - collection of tracks, showing the fiery-haired vixen to be - a competent songwriter. Prodded by Bright Eyes' Conor - Oberst to record a solo album for his label, Lewis wisely - turned to a slew of talented friends to flush out the - recording. The disc starts off slow, but when Lewis turns - up the energy, it improves dramatically. It peaks with a - solid cover of The Traveling Wilburys hit "Handle With - Care," which finds Lewis' crystalline voice trading verses - with Ben Gibbard, Oberst and M. Ward. While Lewis can - be too mellow at times, the album is enjoyable and - endearing. Jesse Stanek
  • Jenny Lewis with The Watson Twins

    Rabbit Fur Coat

    Team Love

    Jenny Lewis, the child actor (Troop Beverly Hills) turned indie sweetheart (Rilo Kiley, The Postal Service) has put together a top-notch collection of tracks, showing the fiery-haired vixen to be a competent songwriter. Prodded by Bright Eyes' Conor Oberst to record a solo album for his label, Lewis wisely turned to a slew of talented friends to flush out the recording. The disc starts off slow, but when Lewis turns up the energy, it improves dramatically. It peaks with a solid cover of The Traveling Wilburys hit "Handle With Care," which finds Lewis' crystalline voice trading verses with Ben Gibbard, Oberst and M. Ward. While Lewis can be too mellow at times, the album is enjoyable and endearing. Jesse Stanek

click to enlarge A Novel Form    - pictures     (No label)   A - local quartet featuring four teenagers Kevin Fisher - (vocals, guitar), Adam Keaveny (guitar), Garrett Dawson - (bass) and Skye Lewis (drums)  A Novel Form provides - a nice, mellow break from the city's screamy "core" scene - on pictures. With layered vocals, superb guitar - riffs and harmonizing on every track, the five-song EP is - even and well-done. Four tracks risk sounding similar, - but the last song, "Dead Reckoning," is the exception, - with guest vocals by Summer Justice. It's light and piano- - driven, with aesthetically pleasing LP crackles in the - production. An uncharacteristic drumbeat breakaway - makes the song, and the album, far more interesting. - Overall, a small snippet of great things to come.  - Kara Luger
  • A Novel Form

    pictures

    (No label)

    A local quartet featuring four teenagers Kevin Fisher (vocals, guitar), Adam Keaveny (guitar), Garrett Dawson (bass) and Skye Lewis (drums) A Novel Form provides a nice, mellow break from the city's screamy "core" scene on pictures. With layered vocals, superb guitar riffs and harmonizing on every track, the five-song EP is even and well-done. Four tracks risk sounding similar, but the last song, "Dead Reckoning," is the exception, with guest vocals by Summer Justice. It's light and piano- driven, with aesthetically pleasing LP crackles in the production. An uncharacteristic drumbeat breakaway makes the song, and the album, far more interesting. Overall, a small snippet of great things to come. Kara Luger

click to enlarge Arab Strap    The - Last Romance     Transdreamer / Release: Feb. 21  -  The Scottish duo who took Britain - by storm with - The First Big Weekend, a somber yet humorous - effort, is back with their well-conceived follow-up. - The Last Romance finds Arab Strap avoiding the - pitfalls many bands succumb to with a critically - anticipated album. They keep their trademark raunchy - intimacy close, but manage to evolve sonically by - keeping things simple. If some of their older albums are - considered hard work, the new disc is an immediate slap - in the face. Arab Strap has a certain post-emo vision and - sound both real and palpable. At times the disc rocks - with ferocity, but it's just as affecting when the band - slows things down to a weepy crawl. Jesse - Stanek
  • Arab Strap

    The Last Romance

    Transdreamer / Release: Feb. 21

    The Scottish duo who took Britain by storm with The First Big Weekend, a somber yet humorous effort, is back with their well-conceived follow-up. The Last Romance finds Arab Strap avoiding the pitfalls many bands succumb to with a critically anticipated album. They keep their trademark raunchy intimacy close, but manage to evolve sonically by keeping things simple. If some of their older albums are considered hard work, the new disc is an immediate slap in the face. Arab Strap has a certain post-emo vision and sound both real and palpable. At times the disc rocks with ferocity, but it's just as affecting when the band slows things down to a weepy crawl. Jesse Stanek

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