"The Voyager" by Jenny Lewis is her best album yet. Every track is brilliantly crafted. No filler here. This album chronicles some personal struggles Jenny was dealing with at the time, like the death of her estranged father and her persistent bouts with insomnia. "Head Underwater" is my favorite track. The song is about depression and ultimately finding your way out of that dark hole. "She's Not Me" and "Slippery Slopes" are about infidelity. "You Can't Outrun 'Em" and the title track are Jenny's moving tributes to her late dad who passed away from colon cancer. "Late Bloomer" and "The New You" are gorgeous songs about rediscovering yourself and reconnecting with the outside world. "Just One of The Guys" is about Jenny's hopeful wish to be a mother someday, and on "Love U Forever", Jenny tries to manipulate her long-time boyfriend into popping the question. "Aloha & The Three Johns" is about a tropical vacation gone awry, but Jenny's "sweet as molasses" vocals make the song not so dreary. "The Voyager" makes me happy even though a lot of the tracks have dark subject matter. Jenny is a very charismatic and multi-talented musician. You can hear and feel the emotion in her voice and there isn't one awkward note on this amazing album. There's hook after hook and she uses real instruments, no "flip a switch" kind of music here folks - just the good stuff. Everyone should own this record because it's got a nice balance of crisp, sunny melodies and brutally frank songwriting. "The Voyager" is one of my favorite albums of 2014. I don't think it's possible for Jenny to make a bad album, she's THAT good! Enjoy.
It's just a fabulous album, end to end. There are plenty of reviews with track details so I'll skip that. Highly recommended, I don't mind the changes from previous styles because of the talent in the writing and the voice. Never the same style album. No rinse and repeat.
Saw the concert from the current tour in TN last night and she performed 4 tracks from it (even more in the tour of 2016) and all were well executed. Also 5 from Rabbit Fur Coat (excellent - get it if you haven't), 3 from Rilo, and 3 new tracks (there is a 4th at some shows - Wasted Youth - but don't recall it from this program). Opened with Heads Gonna Roll and later in the program 2 more - Hollywood Lawn and Party Clown. Jenny fans, be on the lookout for a new volume down the line.
She ended the set with 2 tracks from Acid Tongue (get that, too) followed by "She's Not Me" and then walked offstage while her musicians played on.
After several listens, Voyager has grown on me, mostly because of the lyrics. Jenny continues to mature as a story-teller, IMO. That's not to say I disliked it on first listen. Reminds me a LOT of "Under The Black Light". That's neither good nor bad comment; as one reviewer said about Black Light - newsflash - Cali band makes album of Cali music. Like many, I had mixed feelings about that album, and it's the same w/ this one. Both have an highly-produced, commercial feel & those who complain it's very Pop are correct. To me, not a deal-breaker; to some, it's apparently a major crime that their indie-darling dare make music that's mainstream accessible. I liked Acid Tongue for it's raw approach, and would perhaps like Voyager better if it wasn't quite so produced, but again, not a deal killer for me. As someone who played music for a living for many years, I have no problem w/ folks who want their music to be appreciated by as many listeners as possible and IMO, Jenny has stayed true to herself on this album. Yes, it's got a slick, commercial feel and so if that bothers you, stick w/ your pre-Black Light Rilo albums.
What a great album already!! I am really glad that there is not a bunch of reviews saying that this album doesn't live up to Rilo Kiley standards. I myself was all set to say something all the lines of "It's okay, but not as good as old Rilo Kiley..." but this album is fantastic!! I have already heard "Just One of the Guys" a bunch of times and I thought it was a pretty good song and I was expecting it to be the highlight of the album. But there are so many good songs on this album! It's got some country-esque songs, disco-esque songs and plenty of bizarre, ambiguous "Jenny Lewis" lyrics. Thank you so much, Jenny, for another amazing album!!!
For me Acid Tongue from 2008 is her best work, which had great production, songs with an edge and just hit home... been a long time since and apparently a rough time for Jenny Lewis. This album has some really good songs, production and lyrical concepts as well that are sure to grow on me should i have time to listen to the album. That being said it's a different Jenny Lewis, having been through all the things she writes about or at least seen around her relationships and her insomnia and loss of family members... So much more depth than the crap the industry wants people to listen to... artists like this do need to be supported in these troubling music times.
As a long time Rilo Kiley/Jenny Lewis fan, I have yet to be disappointed by any of the albums she is associated with. Voyager is a top-notch album from start to finish and is on par with her past two solo releases. And don't forget the Jenny and Johnny album I'm Having Fun Now. It's great too.
On a side note - I met Jenny after a show once and she couldn't have been nicer. She was more than accommodating when I asked her to sign my poster and take a picture with me. She was so friendly! I like her a lot.
I've been a fan of Lewis for over ten years, and I've seen her music (and her band Rilo Kiley's music) change over time. This album is definitely more "pop-py" than all of her previous work. This made me nervous at first, as I like heavy music with a deep Gospel resonance or a long rock-out session in the middle. However, the one thing I listen for more than all of that is a good story, and each of these songs tells one. Joined together, there's a story of perseverance through tough times. The lyrics are broody, but the music is light. My favorite song is track one, "Head Underwater," which is piano-heavy and sounds most like a combination of influences from Rabbit Fur Coat and Acid Tongue. However, "Late Bloomer" tells a funny/nostalgic story in an accessible, melodic way that was completely unexpected. That song had my favorite production quality. All in all, my first impression was, "It's good to see Jenny having some fun."
Let me just start by saying I am very partial to Jenny Lewis. I was a big fan of Rilo Kiley and her album with the Watson Twins was outstanding. I am more of a person interested in instrumentation and beats over lyrics ( sorry Bob Dylan) but I totally enjoy Ms Lewis's lyrics. That are captivating and tell a story. But don't take it from me ,sample Head Underwater or Late Bloomer. They tell wonderful dreamy stories. This album has been on repeat, it is one of my best purchases this year
A stellar performance all around for Jenny Lewis. I love her voice, and there's a bit of edginess where needed in her music. I am glad I took a chance in buying the CD without previewing it beforehand.
I only discovered Jenny Lewis in the past five years, and after falling in love with Rabbit Fur Coat and then Acid Tongue I went through her entire catalog, listening to her great performances with New Pornographers and Rilo Kiley.
I pre-ordered this new album without missing a beat (I ordered on CD because I really like having a physical backup copy) and was nervous the first time I listened to it.... I suspected after having listened to "One of the Guys" that Jenny had changed her sound on this album... and she has, but not in a bad way!
The new album is a little more upbeat than past albums and some would argue that it is just a little more "pop" mainstream... and that's true, some of the tracks (One of the Guys) are a little more pop-catchy... but there are plenty of tracks that have that wonderful Jenny Lewis crooning that we know and love, You Can't Outrun 'Em is my current favorite.
Any Jenny Lewis fan should love this album and want it in their playlist.