Review Summary: Rilo Kiley returns with More Adventurous. A different approach for the band, yet still a great listen.
Chances are if you know the name Rilo Kiley you know who Jenny Lewis is. She is the lead singer for the band. Her voice alone is what, I believe, makes Rilo Kiley worth listening to. Not everyone is going to agree and say that Rilo Kiley is a good band, but I think most people will agree that Lewis has an amazing voice. Her voice, for the most part, is soft and pretty and the words she speaks are understandable, which is always very important.
More Adventurous was released in 2004 and is the follow up album to, what many believe to be their best album, The Execution of All Things. More Adventurous is completely different than The Execution of All Things, and that turned some long time fans off. The only thing the two albums have in common is that Lewis sings lead vocals on almost all of the songs. More Adventurous has a much depressing and country feel to it with tracks like The Absence of God and A Man/Me/Then Jim. Despite having a more country feel the album is still very indie like, and perhaps that is why I still like it as much as their previous efforts.
It’s A Hit - The first song off the album and one that gets a lot of hate from Rilo Kiley fans. I think it has to do with the awful lyrics “Any chimp can play human for day, Use his opposable thumbs to iron his uniform.” Despite the bad lyrics I love Lewis’ voice in this song and the simple catchy guitar riff is addicting. 4/5
Does He Love You? - A fairly simple song and one of the longer tracks on the album. Lewis sings about having an affair with a married man and once again her voice is the standout in the song. 4/5
Portions for Foxes - This is one of Rilo Kiley’s best know songs and without a doubt one of their best. This track standouts because of the catchy guitar riff by Blake Sennet and also because once again Lewis lets her voice shine and take over the song. 5/5
Ripchord - The only song Blake Sennet sings on. and also the shortest and weakest song on the album. His voice is very annoying on this song and is ear shattering at times. However, I do like the guitar riff in the song. 3/5
I Never - The vocals go back to Lewis and she shines once again. She lets her pure emotion take over the song and makes it one the best on the album. The only drawback on the song is that the line “I Never” is repeated too many times. It was obvious the band couldn’t think up anymore lyrics. 4/5
The Absence of God - This is one of my personal favorite songs ever. I love how simple the song is. It doesn’t demand much and yet I get so much from it. I particularly love the line “And Mike I’ll teach you how to swim if you turn the bad in me into good again.” I love that single line and can’t explain why. 5/5
Accidntel Deth - A more upbeat song after listening to The Absence of God, yet the lyrics are somewhat depressing. Lewis sings about a soldier being shot and how he remembers “coffee with his lover” or “a story his father told him long ago.” The songs also seems to more electronic, but could just be me because at times it makes weird noises. Nonetheless, I like it. 4/5
More Adventurous - The title track of the album and a very strong track indeed. The song is similar to The Absence of God because both have a similar mood. Once again Lewis provides strong vocals and lyrics. 4/5
Love and War (11/11/46) - Once again the album shifts to a more upbeat feel. However, unlike Accidntel Deth I don’t like this song as much. The song does have a strong guitar riff and is very catchy at times, but the lyrics bug me at times. 3.5/5
A Man/Me/Then Jim - One of the most depressing songs I have heard, but also one of the most beautiful songs I have ever heard. Sometimes I cannot stomach listening to it because I find it so depressing. It is a very simple song with a simple guitar riff, much like The Absence of God and More Adventurous. It is one of the strongest tracks on the album and it blew me away the first time I heard it. 5/5
It Just Is - A nice subtle way to end the album. A tribute song to the late Elliott Smith. The band were good friends with him and had supported him immensely through his tough times. The track is short, but Lewis’ voice fits the song perfectly. The lyrics are depressing as Lewis remind us that “everybody dies.” 3/5
If you are a fan of Rilo Kiley or even just a fan of female vocalists and for some reason haven’t heard this I recommend you pick this up because it is a great listen from time to time. Lewis has a killer voice and Sennet provides catchy guitar riffs throughout the album. A must have for indie lovers.