Under the Black Light - Rilo Kiley

I’m really ambivalent about this album. There are three or so songs that I like, but the entire concept is … creepy.

RK built a standard of narrative pop over three albums, with solos by Jenny and Blake. Now we get this big label thing, with very little Sennett, lots of Lewis, and very little narrative. Lots of very slick, meticulous pop, but not much there in terms of story or IQ. It sounds great, but nothing’s there - a big, beautiful, empty house.

This album stinks of the most recent Liz Phair - slick, commercial, soul-less. Which sucks when there are piles of work that the artist did that didn’t suck. It’s one thing to suck, quite another to engage in premeditated suck.

At least Challengers by New Pornographers didn’t disappoint.

Yup. Very, very disappointing. :frowning:

I was super-excited about this album and downloaded it from iTunes the day it came out. I love their three previous albums and the Initial Friendship EP, but Blacklight disappointed me too. There are a few good songs (“15” is my favorite), but “Dejalo” ought to count as Rilo Kiley’s musical shark-jumping moment. Still, I have tickets to see them on October 2nd (after seeing Jenny Lewis last fall on her *Rabbit Fur Coat * tour), and I’m sure they’ll make even the lackluster new material fun live.

I can’t tell if they did it on purpose, pulling one over on all of us. See: The Moneymaker. It all feels very wink wink, nudge nudge. Maybe I’m hoping for the best.

I love Jenny Lewis; Rabbit Fur Coat was one of my favorite albums from last year.

But Rilo Kiley has always left me cold. I can’t really say why. I could probably go through their whole catalog and put together one really great EP or a pretty good album.

So while I don’t like this one, I’m not really surprised that I don’t.

I actually like Under The Blacklight quite a bit, though IMO it’s nowhere near as brilliant as More Adventurous.


Rilo Kiley has a few very great songs, but the CDs as a whole didn’t grab me the way “Rabbit Fur Coat” did. Although I haven’t listened to “Blacklight” yet.

I’ll go against the grain and say I greatly enjoy the new album. Don’t let “The Moneymaker” throw you; the rest of the album sounds like a ‘60s pop album with 21st century lyrics and production, especially in the second half. "Breakin’ Up" and “The Angels Hung Around” are especially rewarding. The album’s mainly getting rapped for its simpler lyrics. Actually I think that helps, because now Jenny Lewis can luxuriate in her voice rather than having to rush through their older material. Plus the lyrics and mood are still far away from airheaded pop.

I haven’t enjoyed it as much as I have previous releases. IMHO, their best stuff has been their bootlegs.