Rabbit Fur Coat

( 7 )

Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Steve Klinge
On Rilo Kiley's 2004 breakthrough album, More Adventurous, Jenny Lewis proved herself a startlingly good singer, an indie-rocker who didn't shy away from belting out a soulful showstopper like "I Never." And Rabbit Fur Coat confirms her talent. For her first solo album, Lewis drafts the Watson Twins, Chandra and Leigh, to provide old-fashioned country harmonies and crafts an acoustic, rootsy sound that eschews the new wave electrics of her main band. She cites Laura Nyro and LaBelle's Gonna Take a Miracle and Bob Dylan's New Morning as models; other apt parallels would be Dusty in Memphis check the intimate ballad "Melt Your Heart" and Bright Eyes' I'm Wide Awake, It's ...
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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Steve Klinge
On Rilo Kiley's 2004 breakthrough album, More Adventurous, Jenny Lewis proved herself a startlingly good singer, an indie-rocker who didn't shy away from belting out a soulful showstopper like "I Never." And Rabbit Fur Coat confirms her talent. For her first solo album, Lewis drafts the Watson Twins, Chandra and Leigh, to provide old-fashioned country harmonies and crafts an acoustic, rootsy sound that eschews the new wave electrics of her main band. She cites Laura Nyro and LaBelle's Gonna Take a Miracle and Bob Dylan's New Morning as models; other apt parallels would be Dusty in Memphis check the intimate ballad "Melt Your Heart" and Bright Eyes' I'm Wide Awake, It's Morning. Bright Eyes mainstay Mike Mogus produced much of Rabbit Fur Coat. Lewis's songwriting is as impressive as ever: the semi-autobiographical title track alludes to her youth as a child actor and family breadwinner, and the twangy "The Charging Sky" moves through a variety of points of view and references "It's just you and God / but what if God's not there / But his name is on your dollar bill / which just became cab fare," goes one typically associative sequence. Lewis is well connected: She's helped out by M. Ward who produced several tracks; by some of her Rilo Kiley bandmates; by members of Maroon 5 and the Decemberists; and, on a humorous cover of the Traveling Wilburys' "Handle with Care," by Bright Eyes' Conor Oberst and Postal Service cohort Ben Gibbard also of Death Cab for Cutie. But it's Lewis's smart songwriting and her aching, intimate vocals throughout Rabbit Fur Coat that will melt your heart.
All Music Guide - Stephen Thomas Erlewine
The story line on Rabbit Fur Coat is this: for her first venture outside of celebrated indie sensations Rilo Kiley, singer/songwriter Jenny Lewis has made a "white soul" album, along the lines of Dusty Springfield or Laura Nyro. Which is why, of course, she brought in Kentucky duo the Watson Twins to provide bluegrass harmonies for the entire record. Which is to say that Rabbit Fur Coat doesn't quite live up to its billing -- especially when compared to The Greatest, Cat Power's genuine white-soul album that hit the stores the week after Lewis' solo affair. What Rabbit Fur Coat brings to mind is not Laura Nyro but, perhaps inevitably, Neko Case and the stark, arty Americana intimacy of her breakthrough, Furnace Room Lullaby. Not that Lewis has Case's throaty voice or commanding presence -- she can growl and slide into notes, but at her core she has a small, fragile voice, one that lends this muted set of songs intimacy, even if it also brings them to the verge of cutsiness. And that's not a word that should be associated with Rabbit Fur Coat, an album that's designed to be a comforting late-night confessional, from rousing stompers like "The Big Guns" through the bluesy crawl of "Rise Up With Fists" to bittersweet ruminations like the seemingly autobiographical title track and the cheerful, gangs-all-here singalong to the Traveling Wilburys "Handle With Care." Musically, this hits the mark -- not only does it return Lewis to the country leanings of Rilo Kiley's first album, it feels suspended in time and space, the perfect soundtrack to 2 A.M. But the spareness of its sound also puts undue emphasis on her writing, and while she can structure a song, she tends to overwork her lyrics, cramming too many words into a phrase and moralizing like a college sophomore "Still they're dying on the dark continent/it's been happening long enough to mention it" or "Are you really that pure sir?/I thought I saw you in Vegas/it was not pretty/but she was," where the Watson Twins helpfully respond with "not your wife". At her best, her songs have a grace and flow that obscure these flaws -- such as on "Happy," whose melody and attitude are not all that far removed from her most prominent booster in rock's old guard, Elvis Costello -- and -- even if they're still quite prominent upon any close listen. And since Rabbit Fur Coat is an album that's designed for close listening, that's a bit of a problem, but as a pure sonic experience, it's a moody, atmospheric listen that never gets quite as melancholy as it suggests and holds together better than any Rilo Kiley album to date.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 1/24/2006
  • Label: Team Love Records
  • UPC: 898348000826
  • Catalog Number: 8
  • Sales rank: 13,736

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 Run Devil Run - Jenny Lewis (1:06)
  2. 2 The Big Guns - Jenny Lewis (2:32)
  3. 3 Rise Up with Fists!! - Jenny Lewis (3:36)
  4. 4 Happy - Jenny Lewis (4:14)
  5. 5 The Charging Sky - Jenny Lewis (2:56)
  6. 6 Melt Your Heart - Jenny Lewis (2:50)
  7. 7 You Are What You Love - Jenny Lewis (2:51)
  8. 8 Rabbit Fur Coat - Jenny Lewis (4:32)
  9. 9 Handle with Care - Jenny Lewis (2:56)
  10. 10 Born Secular - Jenny Lewis (5:07)
  11. 11 It Wasn't Me - Jenny Lewis (4:10)
  12. 12 Happy (Reprise) - Jenny Lewis (0:48)
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
The Watson Twins Primary Artist
Larry Crane Track Performer
Greg Kurstin Track Performer
James Valentine Track Performer
Mike Mogis Track Performer
Ben Gibbard Track Performer
Mickey Madden Track Performer
Jason Boesel Track Performer
Jenny Lewis Vocals
Conor Oberst Track Performer
Leigh Watson Vocals, Track Performer
Chandra Watson Vocals, Track Performer
Johnathan Rice Track Performer
Mike Bloom Track Performer
Rachel Bloomberg Track Performer
Michael Runion Track Performer
Matt Ward Track Performer
Technical Credits
Bob Dylan Composer
George Harrison Composer
Jeff Lynne Composer
Roy Orbison Composer
Tom Petty Composer
The Traveling Wilburys Composer
Larry Crane Engineer
Fred Kevorkian Mastering
Mike Mogis Producer, Engineer
Jenny Lewis Composer, Producer
Matt Ward Producer
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 7 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(6)

4 Star

(1)

3 Star

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Sort by: Showing all of 7 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Rabbit Fur Coat

    This is an incredible album. I agree with the comment left before mine, there isn't a single track worth skipping. Each is beautiful.
    Great album, check it out!
    A little more folky than Acid Tongue.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Not a Single Track to Skip Over ...

    Nothing has "tickled my fancy" this much since Regina Spektor's Begin to Hope album. Every single track on this album is wonderful ... Born Secular and You Are What You Love are my favs. The CD is mixed somewhere between indie, folk, & country styling. Overall, this is an excellent CD and I would highly recommend it to anyone.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 22, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted January 24, 2011

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 12, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted October 25, 2008

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 27, 2009

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Sort by: Showing all of 7 Customer Reviews