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Rilo Kiley: More Adventurous

Rilo Kiley: More Adventurous

Release Date:2004

Rilo Kiley plays Washington’s Black Cat Oct. 10 with Now It’s Overheard and Tilly and the Wall.

By Tony Ware | Posted 10/6/2004

Since 2002, Los Angeles-based quartet Rilo Kiley moved from Omaha, Neb.’s emo-bunker Saddle Creek to self-releasing More Adventurous, the band’s third full-length, on Brute/Beaute (distributed through Warner Bros.). In the process, former child actors/current songwriting partners Jenny Lewis and Blake Sennett, alongside bassist Pierre de Reeder and drummer Jason Boesel, shrugged off indie’s winsome wind-ups. With Adventurous, Lewis and Sennett exhibit a newfound grasp of range, with character-laced songs pairing strained-relationship pangs and subtle twang within bittersweet bubblegum craftily ruffled with a haunted, breezy manner.

Lewis arises to Adventurous’ pulpit poised in full mellifluous regalia. The vocal interchange she and Sennett exhibited on 2002’s The Execution of All Things has been expunged in favor of more quirky wisps of keyboard, chiming guitar melodies, and peppered percussive clips, claps, and ticks. The production (mostly by Mike Mogis) is more polished, a touch tinny, but no longer tethered by a shoestring budget. It’s a bracing backing to Lewis’ assured delivery that’s no longer as precious, providing the frame and box springs for Adventurous’ frank bedroom drama that’s as confessional as it is conversational.

Tracks such as the twining, gently brushed “The Absence of God,” the silky Mary Chapin Carpenter folk-flecked title track, and the doo-wop ballad “I Never” gracefully yearn and swoon, but all does not bow to world-weariness. “Accidntal Deth” bobs with the genteel burbles of Jimmy “DNTEL/Postal Service” Tamborello, while “Portions for Foxes” is a giddy collar-grabbing, attention-groping romp, and the gnarled glamour of “Love and War (11/11/46)” would leave Hole’s celebrity skin crawling with jealousy. With More Adventurous, Rilo Kiley shows how an individual’s growing pained and a band’s growing pains can each be handled with aplomb.

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