Jenny Lewis: The Voyager
Jenny Lewis’ greatest artistic strengths—her effortlessly smooth croon, her ever-precise hooks—are also her most glaring weaknesses. The Voyager, her third solo LP (and first since the demise of Rilo Kiley), is an affirmation of that dichotomy: both perfect and all-too-perfect at once. The sharpest, most engaging tracks here (the Fleetwood Mac-shaded “Head Underwater,” the soft-rocking cheater’s lament “She’s Not Me”) explore Lewis’ funkier, sexier side. But when she drops the groove and hauls out the acoustic (“Just One of the Guys”), the results are tunefully indistinct. Few modern songwriters can craft such perfect lyrical nuggets (“When the twin towers fell and it all went to hell, I knew you’d be leaving me soon,” she sings on “The New You”), but the tunes behind them rarely perk you up enough to notice.