Music Monday :: my thoughts on The Voyager

28 Jul

HI JENNY LEWIS.  I am capslocking about this because I am really, really excited.  I love Jenny Lewis an awful lot (saw her live once, and it was brilliant — to this day the only concert I’ve ever attended alone, and it thus stands apart in my memory) and I have missed her.

“Head Underwater.”  This is genuinely retro, in the fullest sort of way, like an old soul-pop song sort of, and gosh I really like that!  That’s fun.  The background and the boppy instruments and gosh, Jenny Lewis’ voice is just so clear in this way that’s so singularly her.  “There’s a little bit of magic, everybody has it, there’s a little bit of sand left in the hourglass.”  That’s nice.  Also, the way she sings “baby” is very retro.

“She’s Not Me.”  And now the guitar is a bit more rock and roll.  Another thing I appreciate about Jenny Lewis is that I can understand 98% of the vocals immediately.  Because of that clarity.  But for me as a lyrics person, that’s really important.  And oh orchestra.  Orchestra + guitar.  This is interesting.  It’s sad but not… it’s not putting blame, necessarily.  It’s just saying.

“Just One of the Guys.”  I’ve already seen the music video for this and it’s the best music video I’ve seen in ever.  For those of you who don’t know, it’s got Kristen Stewart, Anne Hathaway, Brie Larson, and Tennessee Thomas (of the Like and also of playing the drummer for the Clash at Demonhead in Scott Pilgrim).  And they’re all wearing suits and then tracksuits and they’re amazing.  It’s very important and I recommend it to everyone.  Also the song is great.

“Slippery Slopes.”  Oh hello guitar this sounds so like the Jenny I know.  I mean, it all sounds like her because it’s her, but this… I just feel very nostalgic somehow.  It’s nice.  This is just a really solid effort of an album and I’m happy about it.

“Late Bloomer.”  Jenny Lewis just feels so timeless in a way.  Between the clarity and the way that she tells stories, it’s very… well, retro, but in a different way than I meant it above.  Like songs from the 1970s, sort of.

“You Can’t Outrun ‘Em.”  OH MY GOSH that Tarantino soundtrack intro.  This is overall a Tarantino soundtrack.  Seriously.  Jump on this song, Tarantino, this is perfect.  Or anyone.  This is soundtrack gold in general.  I’m so happy that this song exists and I am going to go out of my way to figure out a way to use it myself.

“The New You.”  And now we’re back into 1970s torch song, sort of.  In a very pleasant way that I have no particular coherent commentary about but that blends very nicely with the rest of the album.  That’s how Jenny Lewis goes, I think, a couple of songs stand out for me and others are A+ but take a little while longer to really hit me in the same way.

“Aloha & the Three Johns.”  Well!  More surf guitar, which makes sense because “aloha.”  It’s like a surf movie — even the lyrics are like a surf movie — but a bit more hardedge.

“Love U Forever.”  Oh gosh and more of that riffing.  Riffing that then completely gives way to sweet clear Jenny voice.  This is 1980s all the way and I really adore it already.  Thank you for existing, Jenny Lewis.  “We were kids then in the daisy age and we wore peace signs as the riots blazed.”  That’s a nice little thought too.  Normally I don’t condone the use of chatspeak in titles, but here it feels appropriate.

“The Voyager.”  And to finish it off, something a bit more wistful.  That seems to be the trend lately, ending on wistful/orchestral.  With a tiny bit of, like, if-Starlight-Express-wasn’t-awful in the instrumentation occasionally in this case.  I feel good about this.  I feel so good about this entire damn album.

–your fangirl heroine.

polite fuck you


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