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50 of 55 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Effortlessly enjoyable
Jenny Lewis from the Los Angeles quartet Rilo Kiley has stepped out on her own with a collection of country-folk enchantment that is sure to win her a legion of fans. Accompanying her on this journey are the enigmatic Watson Twins (Chandra & Leigh) who embellish Lewis's clear-as-crystal vocals with their gorgeous harmonies that are best described as `other-worldly'. Lewis...
Published on February 16, 2006 by W. Davidson

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2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A Decent Solo Effort
I adore Jenny Lewis. I have been a fan of Rilo Kiley for upwards of four years now. I was ecstatic when she announced this solo record. I downloaded the live shows feauting the songs, etc. I think the album is satisfactory. I know Jenny has a lot of talent, and vocally the album is great. Supposedly it was recorded with first takes only, but the album sounds a bit...
Published on March 31, 2006 by Melissa Vasquez


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50 of 55 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Effortlessly enjoyable, February 16, 2006
By 
W. Davidson (Melbourne, Australia) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Rabbit Fur Coat (Audio CD)
Jenny Lewis from the Los Angeles quartet Rilo Kiley has stepped out on her own with a collection of country-folk enchantment that is sure to win her a legion of fans. Accompanying her on this journey are the enigmatic Watson Twins (Chandra & Leigh) who embellish Lewis's clear-as-crystal vocals with their gorgeous harmonies that are best described as `other-worldly'. Lewis also draws on a stable of indie stars from Death Cab For Cutie's Ben Gibbard and Maroon 5's James Valentine.

Rabbit Fur Coat sports a magnificent sleeve photograph that serves as a perfect visual insight to the classy affair within. Modelled on `white soul classics', in particular the stunning Laura Nyro/Labelle collaboration Gonna Take A Miracle (1972) this lofty goal is skilfully achieved with tracks such as the luminous Rise Up With Fists!!, The Changing Sky and Melt Your Heart.

The pace is smooth, the songs sound spectacular, dare I say magical, and the album is only briefly brought down by the somewhat stilted title track mid-way through. Much has been made of the cover of The Travelling Wilbury's Handle With Care, but this for me this is one of the weak points on the album. Although a good choice of song the unnecessary introduction of male vocalists somehow taints the otherwise pure female vision of this album. The disappointment is short-lived though as more aces reside in Lewis's scalloped sleeve with the majestic Born Secular that again takes this record into orbit.

Sporting all the requisite country musical touches - steel and acoustic guitars, wire drums and electric piano, Lewis's collection of country/folk/gospel songs make this an effortlessly enjoyable record, although a small leaning to country music is probably necessary. Whether the charms of Rabbit Fur Coat will last over time or if this is just a giddy summer fling only time will tell, but my inner Criswell thinks this one has legs. Either way ladies and gentlemen, welcome to your first favourite album of 2006.
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30 of 37 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Put on the Coat, April 19, 2006
By 
R. M. Ettinger "rme1963" (Cleveland Heights, OH USA) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Rabbit Fur Coat (Audio CD)
I admit I'm probably not young and/or hip enough to know Rilo Kiley - so this is my first exposure to Jenny Lewis, let alone the Watson Twins.

Going from that statement - this review will make almost no sense. It won't be logical, just based on pure gut. My first thoughts were that Lewis comes across as a non-twangy Loretta Lynn. It is music on her terms. She is a non-traditional songwriter - almost a deconstruction take on the process. Her performances take on the same form. It's not country. It's not folk. It's just......Lewis.

One of my initial thoughts was that this was like the first time I heard k.d. lang or Dwight Yoakam initial releases. I am *not* saying Jenny Lewis is like either in style or sound. She's just one of those performers where the mold either doesn't fit or has been broken. Either way - it's a *good* thing.

I won't review songs per se - but "Rise Up With Fists!!!" and "You Are What You Are" are stand-out cuts. A cover of the Traveling Wilbury's "Handle w/Care" is ok, but nothing more than that.

The Watson Twins really do add some nice backing vocals - and video-wise, they are extremely intriguing. I know - that latter part isn't enough to make a good CD, but for the curious - it's a worthy purchase.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the Best Albums of 2006, February 17, 2007
By 
This review is from: Rabbit Fur Coat (Audio CD)
I really like Rilo Kiley so I was interested to listen to this Jenny Lewis solo effort. But being a fan of Rilo Kiley definitely won't guarantee that you'll enjoy this album.

It's a lot more twangy and folksy than Rilo Kiley which appeals more to the college radio crowd but I must admit that I play this record more often than "More Adventurous" which is an album I adore; "Rabbit Fur Coat" just strikes me as being more original and better realized.

Jenny Lewis and the Watson Twins have managed to record one of the most memorable albums of 2006. I'm not alone in this assessment. NPR did a list of the best albums of '06 and this, not surprisingly, was on it.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Stealthy!!, March 22, 2006
This review is from: Rabbit Fur Coat (Audio CD)
This is a stealth album. You play it once, you think "Okay, interesting." YOu play it again, you think "Hey, that's pretty good." You play it again, you think "I really like this." And then pretty soon you can't stop playing it.

I like Rilo Kiley okay, but I really really like Jenny solo. Not having to fit into the pop song format suits her style of songwriting. And obviously she's been inspired by her collaboration with The Watson Twins here, who not only sing like flawless angels, but who have written some really pointed and heartbreaking vocal parts to back her up.

If you like this album, you might consider getting The Watson Twins' solo album, Southern Manners. The musicianship is really incredible, and the voices are addictive.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very talented singer songwriter, September 14, 2007
This review is from: Rabbit Fur Coat (Audio CD)
An understated, nearly flawless peice of work by a very talented singer-songwriter!!!!!!!!

The lyrics are captivating, funng and insightful. Nice balance between the personal and political.

Very cleverly titled "Rabbit Fur Coat"- To me this album is about the illusions of culture-- religion, politics, fame, money and love.

I find the production to be great as well--very balanced but minimal(in a good way). The Watson Twins also compliment her well.

She is sure one to watch and she deserves a lot of credit.

Keep up the good work Jenny!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It's Will Be Really Hard for Jenny Lewis to Top This Album, December 23, 2009
By 
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This review is from: Rabbit Fur Coat (Audio CD)
It's obvious that a great deal of love and devotion went into the making of Rabbit Fur Coat. From the iconic cover picture with Jenny and the Watson Twins echoing one of the scarier scenes from The Shining to the incredibly beautiful photos in the liner notes which show Jenny at her most beautiful and vulnerable.

And then there is the music. A perfect balance of melody, harmony and lyric writing that stands as the best work of Jenny Lewis' life and one of the best albums of the decade.

After the vocal workout of Run Devil Run things really get moving with The Big Gun which truly shows off Jenny Lewis vocal prowress. Hearing the Watson twins harmonize behind her makes you feel that these 3 women have been singing together their entire lifes. It's not true of course but the chemistry that they have is magical.

Rise Up With Fists is one of Jenny Lewis' greatest songs. It combines everthing I love about her. Her perfect voice beautiful at both the upper and lower registers of her range. The sense of humor and sarcasm and honesty of her songwriting. When she and the Watson's sing It was not pretty but she was...(not your wife) it always makes me chuckle..such a perfect lyric.

Happy is the first of two absolutely gorgeous ballads that grace this album. The way her crystal clear voice melts into the soft accoustic strumming and the ever so subtle electric guitar feedback is magical. This is truly an unforgettable performance. One of the loveliest songs I've ever heard.

Melt Your Heart is the second classic ballad from this album. Like alot of her songs it is melancholy and hopeful at the same time. I've spent many a night in the dark laying down listening to this song.

The rest of the album is equally strong. You Are What You Love is an uptempo rumination on co dependency. Rabbit Fur Coat is a folk song about class discrimination and upward mobility set to a waltz tempo. Born Secular has a gospel vibe which fits in nicely with the rest of the album.

I have to give alot of credit to the Watson Twins at all because without their harmonizing this album would not have been as good.

The thing I love about Jenny Lewis' music is how simple she keeps it. It's not based on anything other than great music, honest and original lyrics and one of the most beautiful voices in rock. This album is timeless, you'll be able to listen to it in 20 years and it won't sound dated at all.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Takes Me To Another Place, September 23, 2006
By 
David P. Groupe "dahveed" (California/Wrightsville, PA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Rabbit Fur Coat (Audio CD)
This record reminds me so much of the old records that my grandparents and parents used to play for me, and it reminded me of the folk pop albums i listen to today. It has so much soul. Just hearing Rise With Fists for the first time inspired me to buy not only this album but all of the Rilo Kiley albums. Jenny Lewis is truly inspired. This CD is simple and pure. And in its purity it takes you away, just like that music i have grown up to love and you don't see anymore in the days of my humps and sexyback.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars See her live, at all costs., March 14, 2006
This review is from: Rabbit Fur Coat (Audio CD)
The CD is one of those CD's that I just can't get enough of. It's, for the most part, a really simple CD, but upon many listens you really pick up all the meanings and whatnot. Jenny's voice is... you couldn't ask for anything better. It's so soft and sweet, and watching her hit those high notes is just incredible. Seeing her live was such a great experience. I was in awe the whole time she was on stage - and I was front row, center - well, to the left a tad, but just so much so that the mike wasn't in my view of her.

The CD is awesome. There's nothing sufficient to say to describe it - go to her site, preview the tracks, you'll understand.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Lyrics that speak to my grungy 70s folk craving, August 22, 2006
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Rabbit Fur Coat (Audio CD)
I was so suprized to hear the cute little red-head from "Troop Beverly Hills" put out this amazing album. The whole thing is a work of art. The lyrics are astoundingly soulful and leave you wanting to sing along. Jenny Lewis is like that girl down the street thats kinda depressed and scary, but totally hot and mysterious. She put a lot of heart into these songs and the lyrics are indicitive of some of her hollywood history, which is always nice of a former child star putting out an album to do, because we are all curious.

I can't wait for her next album, I'm a fan.
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9 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars jenny, June 5, 2006
This review is from: Rabbit Fur Coat (Audio CD)
I bought this record because I am such a fan of Rilo Kiley, but this record is far from sounding the same. I was not at all expecting to hear what I did. I was taken on a soulful journey of genres and it was truely beautiful with Jenny Lewis' crystal clear vocals. The questioning of religon is truely counrty but the funness to it makes it more pop. When you sit back and listen to the actually words you are blown away.
"but what if god's not there?/but his name is on your dollor bill/which just became cab fare"
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Rabbit Fur Coat
Rabbit Fur Coat by Jenny Lewis (Audio CD - 2006)
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