Kofi's hat

Kofi's hat

MP3s, music news and reviews, and a sprinkling of pop culture. Named by Aqualung's Matt Hales, after his son.

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Location: Los Angeles, California, United States

Ink in my blood, a song in my heart. Metaphor is my middle name.

Monday, June 04, 2007

Rilo Kiley Reveals What to Expect Under the Blacklight

Rilo Kiley has released the track listing for Under the Blacklight, their fourth full-length album, due August 20th in the U.K. and a day later in the States.

A tour is planned, details to be announced.

Rilo's record label, Warner Brothers, dubs Blacklight's 11 songs "gloriously decadent-sounding". Few albums these days, save those "pricey" ones included in costly box sets, are "gloriously decadent-feeling". This is perhaps partly due to the high-profile commercial failure of phat bunny's self-titled EP.

Under the Blacklight, per Warner Brothers' press release, finds "smooth dance beats balanced by the underlying lyrical motifs of the seedier side of Los Angeles life; the characters in the songs embroiled in everything from drunken one night stands to the sex industry."

Those of you who placed money on a "lyrical theme" of "violence", ooh, sorry. Looks like it's "sex" (or at least a seedy variation thereof). Those of you who placed money on Jenny Lewis leaving behind the (unfortunate) country music direction of her (underwhelming) solo debut, ooh, sorry. There's at least one country-flavored song ("15").

"Breakin' Up" sounds more promising to those of us who prefer Lewis in almost-any-kind-of-music-but-country mode. Dubbed (albeit, by Warner) "deceptively catchy and upbeat", the tune "celebrates leaving a jilted lover in the dust". (More song descriptions below.)

Sennett is given credit for the "song craft" on "Breakin' Up", Lewis credit for its lyrics, and apparently at least chief credit for the lyrics of every other song on the album too. Warner describes Blacklight's "lyrical theme is of the darker side of life as revealed by a nightclub blacklight, each song's character sharpened to a precise focus by Lewis' unique, undeniable approach."

So Lewis has an undeniable approach? That's not even praise. It might tempt someone to deny she has an approach, just to see if it can be done.

You can deny there are 11 songs if you like, but there are about that many. The absence of "Pull Me In Tighter" pleases me; it's a weak one. Rilo teased having recorded a whole lot of songs, so the number doesn't seem very generous. However, they may have realized only 11 were both really good and consistent with a central, seedy theme. What's a band to do, but go with both quality and seediness?

Under the Blacklight Track Listing:

1. "Silver Lining"
2. "Close Call"
3. "The Moneymaker" - "Lewis is fiery and unrestrained, no more so than on 'The Moneymaker.'" (all quotes from the label's press release)
4. "Breakin' Up" - "perhaps the perfect encapsulation of what Rilo Kiley is: the song craft of Sennett and the serrated edge of Lewis' lyrics - deceptively catchy and upbeat, the song celebrates leaving a jilted lover in the dust" 5. "Under the Blacklight"
6. "Dreamworld" - "Sennett dazzles with the sneaking 70's soul of 'Dreamworld', a song so rich with gold dust that it's liable to take you back to the days of high school mix tapes" (Psst, this reference makes the band look so totally old.)
7. "Déjalo" (I'm guessing about the accent mark belonging there, haven't monkeyed with any other titles.)
8. "15" - "a twisted love story of misplaced ardor, gives us the unique idea of what Bobbie Gentry might have had to say if internet dating had existed in her time."
9. "Smoke Detector"
10. "The Angel Hung Around"
11. "Give a Little Love"

Rilo Kiley - 85 (on The Initial Friend EP)


Blogger Station Agent said...

Thanks for compiling all that info. This is definitely the album I've been waiting for. Labels give me the creeps, even if it is just the press releases that they're screwing up and not the music. We'll see.

1:40 PM  
Blogger trill42 said...

You're welcome. :) Yeah, I have a lot of issues with the way many corporations in general, including labels, often give people who don't care about something or know enough about it, decision-making power over it.

I'm referring to executives, not publicists... thinking of a situation where someone who was last an executive in a fast food division can become a label exec and see music as just another way of making money. I think to be an exec at a label you should have a certain level of knowledge about music, a passion for it, and a respect for music, musicians, and fans. If labels only hired people like that, I think so many other things would fall into place. It would pain a marketing VP as it does us to read a press release that doesn't make sense, and they wouldn't let it reach us.

Some local TV stations hire news writers fresh out of college because they're cheap. They also have interns write copy.

There may be a similar situation at labels, in which case I would feel especially badly for picking the press release apart too much. I try to remember there's a person behind these things, probably a busy, rushing one, and that no one's perfect.

The lack of oversight - especially at a major label - is vexing though. Majors usually have more resources but independents may care more.

I've loved Rilo for a long time and am also really looking forward to the album. [/end rant; sorry it was so long, yikes]

4:39 PM  

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