If security is a kind of death, as Tennessee Williams wrote, then Rilo Kiley are doing their damndest to elude mortality. They have spent their young career going all over the place - literally, metaphorically, thematically, and emotionally - in an almost obsessive fight against predictability and stagnation.
"More Adventurous" is the brand new Rilo Kiley album, and it is - from the very first minute - simultaneously bold and understated, bombastic and intimate, and tragic and triumphant - an 11 track tribute to instability as a virtue. It's an album full of uplifting songs of heartbreak, traditional pop from the future, country music from the city, and all other manner of oxymoronic perfection -- RK's stock in trade over the course of their bright lifetime as a band.
After the release of their last album, "The Execution of All Things" (which got raves from sources as diverse as the smallest cut 'n' paste 'zines, to the Village Voice, to the New York Times, who called it "impressive" and "self-assured"), the band crisscrossed the country on a series of several far-reaching headlining tours (including one where the band pulled double-duty as the backing band for Merge Records troubadour M Ward). When the tours ended, side projects kicked in: Jenny Lewis sang on the The Postal Service album and toured with them; Drummer Jason Boesel recorded with Bright Eyes; and guitarist/singer Blake Sennett recorded, released, and toured behind his solo album under the name The Elected (on Sub Pop). But where many bands would then stop to take a breather, or at least let the events of the last couple years soakin, RK instead decided to kick things UP a notch. They started to work on a new album, with one clear goal in mind: This disc would be their best album yet.
The songwriting began simply enough, from the hushed and lightly picked acoustic guitars on "The Absence of God," where Lewis offers some of her most insightfully fierce lyrics yet ("And I say there's trouble / when everything is fine / the need to destroy things / creeps up on me every time," she sings, giving in); to the punchy new wave sheen of "Portions for Foxes." The rhythm section of drummer Jason Boesel and bassist Pierre de Reeder anchored the songs with carefully assigned gravity for the new material's often expansive and soaring melodies.
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