Rilo Kiley – Under the Blacklight


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Rilo Kiley’s fourth album, Under the Blacklight pops more noticeably than the previous. Simplistic lyrics repeat, forming hooks elevated by polished (and subsequently produced) instrumentals. Audio elitists may shun Blacklight for these reasons alone, however, as a songwriter, my appreciation for this album seems more inclined.

Having experienced some evolutionary growth as an artist, I find maturity in the digestive qualities of this album. The lyrics are simple, but not to the point of idiocy. Cleverly fun lyrics like those in “15”: “She was bruised like a cherry/Ripe as a peach/How could he have known that she was only 15?” and the effective use of hooks (hear the infectious, “Dejalo”) create a succinct and profound musical balance. Finally, “Give a Little Love,” my favorite track from the album, features Jenny’s beauteous voice at the forefront of the tender ballad.

But I can agree this album isn’t quite as deep as the previous three. (Execution of All Things remains my favorite Rilo Kiley record.) A fluffy piece like, “Moneymaker,” won’t keep you up late at night pondering God or why the hell you still eat Cheetos despite the health risks. I have other things keeping me up anyway (Doritos).

In the end, Under the Blacklight leaves you feeling damn good, and isn’t that what it’s all about?

Jenny Lewis: “OMG, I feel so hipster awkward!”