Jenny Lewis: Is there anything you can’t do? She’s checked off acting, she sang in an acclaimed band, and now she can officially check herself off as a successful solo artist.
Rabbit Fur Coat is a heartfelt and emotional autobiography that beautifully weaves ‘50s Americana folk music with her poignant modern words. It’s an almighty dichotomy that makes 12 well-written tracks.
The Watson Twins, two identical sisters who share one enchanting gospel harmony, serve as the backdrop to Lewis’ lyrical childhood memoir.
The title track “Rabbit Fur Coat” sits right in the middle of the record, standing as a reminder of what narcissism can do to a child, especially when shoved in front of the spotlight at such a young age. The rabbit fur coat, in this case, is symbolic of the messes that love often makes, whether it’s with our parents or our lovers.
The only cover to appear on the record is Traveling Wilbury’s “Handle With Care,” which sounds like a wise and contentious choice on Lewis’ part; it also features Bright Eyes’ Conor Oberst and Death Cab For Cutie’s Ben Gibbard, which is a harmonizing smorgasbord of vocals.
These gospel truths are often dark, but never misleading, such as in “Melt Your Heart,” and “You Are What You Love” is as magical as it is an honest valentine to oneself. “You are what you love and not what loves you back, that’s why I’m here on your doorstep pleading for you to take me back” is a site-specific example of self-depraved humanity at its finest.
This album is one of the best contributions at the musical helm of 2006.
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