Much like Colin Farell in Daredevil and those baseball catapults, these guys never miss. Rilo Kiley’s much-awaited third album, More Adventurous, further proves their musical brilliance. Yes, their sound changed through their last album, Execution of All Things, from their Take-offs and Landing days, but this one is the fully evolved version of an indie gem. The fast and edgy songs are somewhat softened by trumpets, hailing from their early album, and the addition of an orchestra enriches every flowing riff and refrain.
What makes Rilo Kiley unique is their ability to tell stories. While songs about heartbreak and love and all that are the most prevalent, Rilo Kiley takes the overlooked miseries and triumphs of everyday life and sings it out loud, narrating the stories of a woman in love with a married man, looking back on past lovers after a funeral, societies ridiculous monotonies, the dangerous obsession of sex, general loneliness, the war of love, and so forth. While addressing the specific details of such events, there’s still that ambiguous mystery that all musicians have that distinguishes their work from others.
Rilo Kiley, comprised of Jenny Lewis, Blake Sennett, Pierre de Reeder, and Jason Boesel, have been doing their thing since 2001 (originally since 1998, but not with all the band members today). Gathering rising numbers of fans across the States, a recent show at the Knitting Factory in New York was a total smash. Despite the surprisingly tiny venue, they still managed to be the rock gods they are with hordes of people inches from their faces. They played old classics and plenty of new material while their openers joined them in on the fun. I’m sorry to say that I cannot recall the names of these two openers because, I guess due to the intimate environment, they mumbled an informal “Hi, I’m so-and-so andnowI’mgoingtoplayasong-” (but I can tell you that they were both one-man shows and very good in a mellow fashion). Their gradual climb to mainstream is well deserved (and about time!), yet they still retain their indie street cred- a feat accomplished by few.
Their newest album, More Adventurous, is quite what it means. While branching away from their previous album’s slightly melancholy undertones, this one is a keen, more upbeat version of the last. Now with Lewis’ trademark tarty voice, their ventures into folk and country have a truly authentic twang. That same voice can scream and holler with the best of them in the edgy rock tracks as well. Sennett also lends his forlorn vocals on certain tracks. There isn’t an album where he hasn’t. What sets apart More Adventurous from their previous ventures is that their subject matter grows more intense as their music changes to compliment it. The addition of some killer violins in “Does He Love You” totally proves this point.
If there are any newbies to the indie music scene, Rilo Kiley will definitely be on the pop quiz. Any scenester worth their street cred knows that these guys are the ones to spin in their Discmans or iPods. And any appreciator of musical genius will most definitely have to add Rilo Kiley to his or her collection- no question about it.