Rilo Kiley

Record review

Phases & Stages

Rilo Kiley

More Adventurous (Brute/Beaute) Rilo Kiley is frustrating in the best possible way: They deserve to be huge, but if they were, they probably wouldn't be half as good. That's why 2002's The Execution of All Things was so wonderful: It was like discovering some secret pop universe where the lights are low, the lyrics are intelligent, and the guitars are always in tune. And yet the L.A. quartet might have a Letters to Cleo-sized hit on their hands with More Adventurous' "Portions for Foxes." Basically, Jenny Lewis is staring daggers at both her companion and herself ("there's blood in my mouth, 'cause I've been biting my tongue all week"), bright and sad, with a melody Bob Pollard would die for. The way she choruses "baby you're bad news" should make her a star all by itself. Then there's "I Never," where Lewis convincingly belts Shelby Lynne right off her torch-song throne. "Accidntl Deth" moonlights in the harmonious electronica of the Postal Service, while the fragile twang of "The Absence of God" and "More Adventurous" makes the band's yearning lyrics that much more poignant. Rilo Kiley does melancholy so well it's almost a shock when something like the stabbing "Love and War (11/11/46)" comes along to remind you they can throw down, too. Soon to be a jukebox staple at every down-at-the-heels dive and java joint in hipster America, More Adventurous has the potential, and the songs, to go a lot further. Hey, if Fountains of Wayne can do it ...

***.5

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for almost 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

READ MORE
More Music Reviews
Texas Platters
William Harries Graham
Jakes (Record Review)

Doug Freeman, April 12, 2019

Texas Platters
Rebecca Loebe
Give Up Your Ghosts (Record Review)

Christina Garcia, April 12, 2019

More by Christopher Gray
Margaret Moser Tribute: The Rolling Stones
The Rolling Stones
That Margaret Moser, she’s a rainbow

June 30, 2017

Margaret Moser Tribute: Patricia Vonne
Patricia Vonne
Shine a light

June 30, 2017

MORE IN THE ARCHIVES
NEWSLETTERS
One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

Updates for SXSW 2019

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle