The CLUAS Archive: 1998 - 2011


Rilo Kiley Under the BacklightReview Snapshot: With significant praise from the likes of Elvis Costello and Coldplay, Rilo Kiley change musical direction with this offering, and head down the Pop route. Probably the most refreshing pop-album of the year.

The CLUAS Verdict? 7 out of 10

Full Review: From the opening track, the recent single ‘Silver Lining’, you’ll fall in love with the vocals of Jenny Lewis. It’s impossible not to make comparisons with Christine McVie, and indeed throughout this album there’s an evident Fleetwood Mac influence. The brilliant ‘Breakin Up’ (surely a future single) sounds like it was lifted from Tango In The Night, while on ‘Dreamworld’ Blake Sennett’s lead vocals are remarkably similar to Lindsey Buckingham’s.

Casting the ‘Mac’ influence aside, it’s the versatility of Jenny’s vocals that steal the show here. On ‘Smoke Detector’ and ‘15’, Lewis goes all Country. Think Reba McIntyre meets Dolly Parton. While the music is bright, the lyrics are dark. ‘15’ tells the controversial story of an online dating relationship: “He was deep like a graveyard / she was ripe like a peach / how could he have known she was only 15”.

Sexual themes run through at least 4 of the tracks here (‘Smoke Detector’ sees Jenny sing “I was smoking him in bed...”). The title track is not the only one with an 80s influence on, ‘Give A Little Love’ also shows that the band have been listening to their Kraftwerk and O.M.D. records. ‘Dejalo’ is the weak track on here and ‘The Moneymaker’ is the heaviest, with the latter providing a catchy riff and hook that makes it memorable.

We may have heard all this before, but under the blacklight, there’s a bright one shining through and Rilo Kiley’s name is written all over it.

Mick Lynch

 To buy a new or (very reasonably priced) 2nd hand copy of this album on Amazon just click here.

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Nuggets from our archive

1999 - 'The eMusic Market', written by Gordon McConnell it focuses on how the internet could change the music industry. Boy was he on the money, years before any of us had heard of an iPod or of Napster.