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Jenny Lewis

Rabbit Fur Coat (Team Love)

Jenny Lewis may have been born and bred in California, but the girl's got America's heartland searing through her soul. On her solo debut, Rabbit Fur Coat, the Rilo Kiley frontwoman channels the likes of Patsy Cline, Dolly Parton and Loretta Lynn to create a collection of songs celebrating heartbreak, heartache and everything in between. The swagger and circumstance of "Rise Up with Fists!!!" is reminiscent of the political folk songs of the 1960s, complete with a message and a melody. But what makes Coat so soothing in its sadness is the timeless quality that comes through in the twangy instrumentation ("Happy") and tender vocals ("Melt Your Heart"). A classic album in the making, the only apparent trace of modern technology on Coat is the drum track running throughout the dogma-challenging hymn "Born Secular," which acts as a reminder that new dogs can learn old tricks — something proven further on the remake of the Traveling Wilburys' "Handle with Care," featuring Conor Oberst and Ben Gibbard. We know Roy Orbison would be proud.

 
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