Jenny & Johnny: the new dynamic duo in indie pop
If one were to put together a CD for their sweetheart, it would most likely have a little bit of sugar, a little bit of spice, and everything nice. Well, that is exactly what Jonathan Rice and Jenny Lewis have done.
The candid voice that fronts Rilo Kiley (Lewis) and the Indie songwriter (Rice) have created a bright, decadent compilation that characterizes the love these two alternative songbirds share for one another. "I'm Having Fun Now" not only describes the emotions in an ordinary relationship, but the witticism, anguish, and affection this couple shares.
The album overall is prettier and brighter than most alternative pop of today, but is still rough around the edges. Equally strong vocally, both Lewis and Rice sing together throughout the album. Rice's voice provides a warm, soothing touch in "Scissor Runner," while Lewis balances it out by sounding much like she's done in previous efforts. The songwriting is not complex or anything out of the ordinary, but the simplicity the duo illustrates proves that they are the perfect pair to write catchy hooks.
The track that really features Lewis' skills is "My Pet Snake." The California-inspired song demonstrates Lewis' lively spirit and sums up the positive attitude that contributed to the tune. "Straight Edge of the Blade" once again exhibits the carefree Jenny Lewis that fans know and love. The song is edgy, yet her charisma outshines her performance.
Rice meanwhile, takes the lead role in "Animal" with his devilish, edgy delivery. Nevertheless, the playfulness that transmits through Lewis' vocals in the chorus exhibits a confidence in their compatibility.
Songs that do not highlight the extraordinary moments but fit in just perfectly are "Switchblade," "Just like Zeus," and "Slavedriver." For those who are trying to find the album's highlight, "Committed" is the song on which to focus. The mellifluous "New York Cartoon" also emphasizes the unison that both vocalists endure.
Those who loved Lewis' country tendencies of the past, such as "White Rabbit" and "Acid Tongue," will see that "I'm Having Fun Now" demonstrates that she can really carry a solid pop tune that would be perfect for long-drive sing-a-longs. Jonathan Rice assisted Lewis with producing the much-appreciated "Acid Tongue," and now the dynamic duo have embarked on a lovelier forty-minute project with class.
Although the overall orchestration and musical appeal of the album is not the most innovative in music history, the catchy harmonies between the vocals are perfectly balanced. What listeners will get out of this album most is the passion that clearly shines through every song. Some songs are edgy; others are mellow and warm. However, if there were a soundtrack to someone's perfect love story, "I'm Having Fun Now" would most likely be it.