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Acid Tongue

4.2 out of 5 stars 55 customer reviews

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Audio CD, September 23, 2008
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Femme fatale Jenny Lewis has never sounded so passionate and her songs never so hard-hitting and acerbic as on her aptly titled solo disk, Acid Tongue. The album follows 2006's Rabbit Fur Coat (which Spin named among the best albums of that year) and a series of acclaimed albums with indie rock fave Rilo Kiley. Featuring collaborations with A Band Called She & Him and guest appearances by Elvis Costello and Chris Robinson of The Black Crowes, Acid Tongue proves to be wicked good.

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Jenny Lewis and the Watson Twins took their cues from legendary singer/songwriter Lauro Nyro in crafting the intimate, gospel-country Rabbit Fur Coat. The all-star Acid Tongue represents something bigger and darker. Without abandoning her roots, Rilo Kiley's front woman adds more soul and jazz weaponry to her musical arsenal, culminating in a record that combines the folky introspection of Joni Mitchell, circa Court and Spark, with the bluesy rock of the Rolling Stones, circa Sticky Fingers, i.e. slide guitar, Hammond B3 organ, and funk-oriented bass (Lewis contributes piano, vibraphone, and guitar). Even her voice sounds richer; deeper and smokier on some songs, like the noirish, nine-minute medley "The Next Messiah," and lighter and brighter on others, like the soaring "Black Sand" and yearning, Bowie-ish "Trying My Best to Love You." Recorded live to tape, the 11 tracks come hurtling out of the speakers like Wild Horses. Duet partners and backing vocalists include Jonathan Rice, Chris Robinson, and Lewis super-fan, Elvis Costello. Frequent collaborator M. Ward drops by to add acoustic licks to the slinky "Pretty Bird." With this second album, Lewis strikes a masterful balance between tough sounds and tender sentiments. --Kathleen C. Fennessy
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (September 23, 2008)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Warner Bros.
  • ASIN: B001CFQO7U
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (55 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #50,791 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
Okay, so I KNOW there are those who can't stop waving the Rilo Kiley torch, or the Watson Twins torch as well, but this album is about Jenny Lewis and that's who I'm reviewing. She shines, to keep it simple.

The album starts slowly, with the whimsical flirting chords of "Black Sand" and then the dark, slow churning "Pretty Bird" keeps the flow going smoothly, finishing with a strum that shakes you and fades into silence. Not for long, cause what comes next is "The Next Messiah", which is one of those few album tracks that feels live but isn't, and therefore this meandering jam achieves the ultimate level of polished iridescence.

"Bad Man's World" brings you back out of that shake your butt drumbeat with another of Lewis's paradigms of songbird vocal melancholia, the likes of which we haven't seen I think since before Joni Mitchell's balls dropped (I refer to the effect her smoking has had on her voice over the years that has rendered her from soprano to tenor, which is still beautiful, don't get me wrong, I love Joni, but its no longer that crystal clear soprano you hear as the ghost voice on Neil Young's contribution to The Last Waltz).

But onward, to the meat of this album. "Acid Tongue" softly wails the tale of the road tripper, a road Lewis and so many hundreds of thousands out there have been on. She sings the song of no regrets, but simply having had her fill, despite her soul attraction to that particular journey and the places it has taken her. Following is "See Fernando", a song I must admit I prefer live with the Watson Twins, but it's still a great track and worth it. Had I never heard the live version before, I might have been all about this one.
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I think both of Jenny Lewis's solo albums are great. Rabbit Fur coat is I think more even all the way thru but I think Acid Tongue rocks a lot harder, and has some extremely great songs and a couple ok.

Carpetbagger, Jack Killed Mom, Acid Tongue, Fernando, Next Messiah all totally rock out.

What I love about Jenny Lewis is that while she is a female songwriter and performer she doesn't try to sound like Shawn Colvin, or have a quirky little girl voice or use the same rhythm back track it seems like a million "Girls With Guitars" seem to fall into.

Musically she more reminds me of Matthew Sweet or something like that and she can belt it out and her songwriting is free of the self seriousness that so many female songwriters fall into.

Just a really great female singer songwriter that you can hear her influences in her music but she's not copying them and comes up with some really unique stuff.

20 years from now you can probably pick up this CD and still enjoy it and maybe by then she will be as famous as she deserves to be.
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By Aly on October 10, 2008
Format: Audio CD
I've been a Rilo Kiley fan since 2003, and like someone else had said, I wanted to like this album. I really did. I thought Rabbit Fur Coat was pretty good, but this was a real disappointment. There are a lot of hipster kids who will say that this album is genius, and I really question whether they would listen to something like this if it wasn't Jenny Lewis. I'm leaning more towards no, they wouldn't. I saw her a few times on her 2006 solo tour, and "Carpetbaggers" and "Acid Tongue" were fantastic, but the studio versions disappointed me. Elvis Costello sounds out of place on "Carpetbaggers" and the backing/chorus vocals on "Acid Tongue" stick out too much and take away from what would otherwise be a flawless song. "Jack Killed Mom" is okay, as is "The Next Messiah," but I can't really listen to the others. The first two tracks are weak openers, and Jenny's voice takes on an odd pitch. The rest aren't all bad; I just can't get into them.

Sorry. I tried to like it, but ultimately, this record is less than what I have come to expect from Jenny.
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Format: Audio CD
I was never a big fan of Rilo Kiley and never heard Rabbit Fur Coat when I first checked out this album. Some of the songs blew me away from the first listen. Others grew on me slowly. There's not a bad or boring moment on this album, except for Elvis Costello in Carpetbaggers, who makes me wish I was deaf for 15 seconds. There's a perfect mix of rock, country, folk, and soul here that sounds timeless. Jenny Lewis' voice goes from high and eerie (Black Sand) to low, tough and sultry, and she masters everything.

The Next Messiah is just about the smoothest, most energetic, rocking song I've ever heard, and it's basically three songs. See Fernando and Jack Killed Mom are in the same vein.

Acid Tongue sounds like a classic folk song. It's simple and powerful, as are Godspeed and the other low-key songs here.

I've gone back and heard some great songs from RFC and Rilo Kiley's albums but nothing compares to this one.
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Format: Audio CD
I got this album when it first came out, listened to it once, and dismissed it because I thought it was awful. Fast forward to almost a year later when I got to see Jenny perform this album live. Watching her perform these songs live was fantastic and it gives a whole new depth to the music featured here. I relistened to what I previously dismissed and fell completely in love with what I was hearing. I now consider this to be one of my favorite albums because of the cohesiveness and the overall theme. It's definitely not just eleven songs slapped together.

When I first listened, I expected a mix of Jenny's previous work (Rilo Kiley & Watson Twins). This is nothing like that, and that's probably why I was disappointed initially. Once those preconceived notions were dropped, I was fully able to enjoy the music. Try it out.
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